Gov. DeSantis: Incentivize work, not unemployment
Image via Colin Hackley.

The Republican Governor described the decision to stay home as a 'rational calculation.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested Thursday that federal unemployment benefits would be better utilized as some sort of “back-end” benefit for Floridians who rejoin the workforce.

The suggestion comes as Florida works to nudge unemployed Floridians into the state’s 400,000 plus job vacancies.

Currently, unemployed Floridians earn a weekly maximum of $275 a week from the state and an extra $300 a week from the federal government.

“I think that would change some of the incentive structure that we’re seeing and would still make it worth people’s while,” DeSantis told reporters in Ormond Beach of his idea to incentivize work, not unemployment.

DeSantis and Republican colleagues contend the extra federal funds disincentivize the state’s reemployment effort and stifle Florida’s economic rebound.

The Republican Governor doesn’t blame Floridians for opting to collect the federally boosted benefits. Instead, he described the decision to stay home as a “rational calculation.”

“It’s not their fault for doing that,” DeSantis said.

“If you get employed then you get a financial bonus for doing that,” DeSantis later explained of his suggestion. “I would rather spend the money that way, than do status quo if the status quo is keeping us from being able to fulfill a lot of the positions.”

Indeed, Florida’s economy is on the up and up.

Florida’s unemployment rate is roughly 4.7%, accounting for roughly 475,000 Floridians. The national average, meanwhile, hovers near 6%.

Department of Economic Opportunity Director Dane Eagle announced Wednesday that Florida will not extend its work search waiver for the unemployed.

The waiver, implemented during the pandemic’s peak, allowed Floridians to collect unemployment benefits without proving they were searching for a job.

“Anyone who is able bodied and wants a job, I think at this point, it’s very, very likely that you’re going to be able to find a job,” DeSantis asserted Thursday.

The work search requirement waiver will remain in effect until May 29.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Jose Montes

    May 15, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    It’s about time people got the incentive to go work not for staying home

  • j ward

    May 16, 2021 at 7:54 am

    We run employment adds every week and get little or no response, for positions paying $18.00 per hour for40 hours week. Very sad state we have created. With federal unemployment.

    • E Schoeman

      May 17, 2021 at 1:56 pm

      At the same time, I refuse to go on unemployment, actively looking for a job, and I’m not getting any responses. I have a BS degree in IT (walking in June), and have 12 years IT admin experience. I’m not going to apply for an 18 an hour job because I won’t be able to pay student loans on 18 an hour and raise two teenagers. Just saying.

  • janet tormey

    May 16, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Why didn’t I get my extra 300 unemployment in May 13 .I only got my 113 a week ..I am waiting to get called back to school due to lack of hours my boss did not call me back yet..Thank you

  • Mary Saunders

    May 17, 2021 at 12:13 am

    I did not get my 300 either and uasually get it the same. day as.i get my reg unemployment. Does anyone no whats up with that and are we still going to get it. Im trying as hard as possible to get a job without sucess.

Comments are closed.


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