Tallahassee, Fla. — On April 23, the Department of Labor
(DOL) reported 4,427,000 seasonally adjusted new unemployment claims had been filed last week and the four week average to 5,786,500.
This brings new unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic to roughly 26 million. The DOL also reported that the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate – percent of the workforce receiving benefits — was 11.0 percent. This marks the highest rate in history. At the same time, DOL reported Florida received 505,137 new unemployment claims.
Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, called out DeSantis’s mismanaged handling of the unemployment system:
“These numbers are a reminder that we are in an employment crisis. Florida’s government must act to expand benefits and expand access to unemployment assistance. Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t doing nearly enough to help Florida’s struggling workers. If DeSantis was serious about this crisis he and his Republican allies would get to work on a legislative fix for Florida’s broken unemployment system. Until then, Floridians will tragically continue to suffer needless economic hardship. Governor, the time to act is now!”
Calls for a legislative fix continue to grow: Calls mount for legislative reforms for the state’s unemployment system. Last week, Deputy Leader Rep. Margaret Good was among a growing number of Democratic leaders that called for a special legislative session to address the unemployment crisis.
Florida’s unemployment system continues to fail: New weekly unemployment claims represent people that are hurting every day as a result of pandemic layoffs. Behind each number is a family struggling to make it through this painful period. And they are a reminder that Florida’s stingy unemployment system is in need of immediate reform to provide the relief necessary for Floridians.
On April 20, The Tampa Bay Timesreported that from March 15 through April 19, Florida’s unemployment system received 1.5 million claims and only dispersed new payments to 40,183 Floridians. The Times also reported that the state has rejected one in four of the claims that have been processed so far.
Florida’s maximum unemployment benefit is only $275 per week for 12 weeks — one of the lowest maximum benefit amounts in the nation. On April 6, DeSantis announced more servers would be used to process applications, yet Florida’s unemployment insurance website has had known errors not related to volume: State auditors have documented problems with Florida’s unemployment website since 2015. In 2019, auditors reported to the DeSantis administration 600 known issues.
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DeSatan made the waiver so that claimants dont have to log in to report and request benefits..and now half my regular UI benefit as been lost without explanation. no one to answer the phone and no hold feature…he paid tax payer money for a phone system that does nothing but tell you agents are too busy to help and then dumps your call. theres no hold feature and no call back feature. waste of taxpayer money. UI policy says you have 7 calendar days to request benefits and if you dont you lose all claim rights to that money. so now he creates technicalities that result in loss of benefits…btw that Covid-19 UI stimulus of $600 weekly burns out june 31 and to make it all worse the UI benefits fund is sitting in a bank drawing interests…further whats happening here with the state UI benefit website means the real unemployment rate isnt reported as that is based on the number of claimants updating their account with earnings and job seeking activity..if you arent reporting or requesting benefits the unemployment numbers are heavily skewed and. by the time the real numbers come out we will be well outside the time that would allow DeSatan to extend benefits. no wonder we have the problems we have in disbursements of both regular and Covid stimulus UI benefits…all that to say this….DeSatan is seeking a position on Capitol Hill so DeSatan”s behavior makes him look good at the cost of florida residents. when you vote dont vote Republican so we can start getting these a-holes out of office. even if you dont like Biden its not about Biden but getting rid of these cronian republicans that work against their own constituents.