Gov. DeSantis to unemployed Floridians: Start looking for a job

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The executive order suspending work-search requirements expires May 29.

Gov. Ron DeSantis expects late this month to reinstate a requirement that people in the unemployment system submit weekly “work search” updates.

Referring to some businesses saying they are unable to find new employees as they regroup from the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis said Wednesday unemployment claimants will likely have to start showing how they looked for work once an executive order waiving a work-search requirement ends May 29.

“We suspended that last year at this time because, quite frankly, there weren’t jobs,” DeSantis said during an appearance at the Satellite Beach Police Department.

Florida’s unemployment rate stood at 4.7% in March, representing 475,000 people out of work from a workforce of 10.17 million. The state Department of Economic Opportunity will release an April report on May 21. The rate was 13.8% in April 2020, after the pandemic forced businesses to shut down or dramatically scale back.

“I think now we’re in just a different situation, you have a surplus of jobs, particularly in restaurant, lodging, hospitality, that people want to hire,” DeSantis said. “I mean, you see the signs all over the place. Look, that’s a good problem to have. But we also just want to make sure, like, look, if you’re really unemployed, can’t get a job, that’s one thing. But making sure that you’re doing your due diligence to look for work, and making sure those incentives align, better.”

Without the waiver, Florida, which has some of the lowest unemployment benefits in the nation, requires people on unemployment to reach out to five prospective employers each week.

The Florida Senate approved a bill (SB 1906) last month that would have increased maximum weekly payments from $275 to $375, added more weeks in which benefits would be available and changed the work-search requirement. The proposal called for the number of job searches to drop to three a week for most people and to two a week for people living in counties with fewer than 75,000 residents.

But DeSantis voiced opposition to the increase in weekly payments, and the House did not take up the Senate bill.

A concern of House Republicans was that increased benefits could lead to businesses being required to pay more money into the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund. Similar reasoning was used when benefits were cut in 2011 to blunt a major increase in unemployment taxes on businesses.

On Wednesday, DeSantis continued to criticize the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about COVID-19 precautions that have idled the cruise-ship industry in Florida. Also, he said some restaurants are closing one day a week because they don’t have enough employees.

DeSantis somewhat dismissed the premise of a question about whether people were taking advantage of changes in the unemployment system. While Florida offers low state benefits, many unemployed people also have been eligible for federal jobless aid.

“I don’t think it’s manipulation. You know, whatever the benefits are, people are availing themselves of it. That’s not their fault,” DeSantis said.

Since March 15, 2020, the state has paid out nearly $27.2 billion in state and federal relief to 2.39 million unemployment claimants. The federal government has accounted for $21.5 billion of the money.

Wire Services


6 comments

  • John

    May 5, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Government has nothing it has not taken under threat of violence. Government cannot help one without harming another.
    Government is a parasite and produces nothing.

    All state aid it taken from someone else that has to work.
    Get off your buts and go back to work.

    • Frank Tall-Hawk

      May 9, 2021 at 12:14 pm

      You mean like the USA’s $$$ from African slavery goes in unregulated amounts to killer-israel? Stop worry about the domestically marginalized and worry about the foreign brea$tfed. Bibi and his occupying land is a leech.

  • Catherine Hall

    May 6, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    It has been 5 MONTHS now since I applied for unemployment. Five months and I have not received one bit of a any type of response from them. Not a word. I call daily. I email daily. I am able to talk to someone once a week. I am told everything I need to do is completed. I was even completing the five work searches for each week. I don’t know why they spent the money, if they did, to hire the additional people to take calls as they are not allowed to tell you ANYTHING. And of course, you cannot be trasferred to a super. All they do is blow smoke up your ***. They need to be sitting at the end. 5 MONTHS AND STILL DO NOT KNOW A THING. Still says “under review” and “pending”. Oh, get this, I called DEO and the woman that answered told me, she cannot help me at all, could not even verify if I had a claim because she told me, in exact wording, “I’m sorry ma’am but we don’t have anything to do with unemployment anymore.” I said “excuse me?” She replied “they have cut us off, they totally disconnected DEO from the CONNECT system and told us we were done, that they were no longer associated with us.” If I didn’t start laughing, I would have started crying. Yep….word for word

  • Catherine Hall

    May 6, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Has anyone else had to wait this long?

    • Frank Tall-Hawk

      May 9, 2021 at 12:16 pm

      You need to tell Gov. Desantis you’re Israeli, and he’ll personally deliver funds to your doorsteps. Why hasn’t Desantis told Israeli-Jews to get off the necks/land of Arabs, and do for themselves?

  • JoAnne

    May 10, 2021 at 9:21 am

    It would be helpful if DeSantis spent time working on bringing well paying jobs to Florida like other Governors do. This state has one of the worst job markets and under employment. Take your college degree and become a $9 an hour employee because that’s all that is available.

Comments are closed.


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