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Florida lost 893,000 jobs in April. Gov. DeSantis says it could have been worse

Nearly 1 million jobs have been lost since January

2 million Floridians have applied for unemployment in the last two months.
2 million Floridians have applied for unemployment in the last two months. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s unemployment is now officially 12.9% for April, slightly lower than the national average, but nearly a hundred people who sought unemployment benefits are monitoring their credit after sensitive information was left unprotected.

Florida lost 893,000 jobs in April and a total of 989,600 since the first of the year. That’s lower than the number of people who have applied for unemployment.

Thursday’s numbers show just over a million eligible claims have been processed, while 366,000 have been denied.

"We knew it would be significant,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In Jacksonville, DeSantis told reporters the number would likely have been higher if he had a heavier touch closing the state.

“And one of the reasons why I wanted to do a safe, smart, step-by-step approach to recovery is that if we can get people back to work, get some confidence back in the communities, you’ll start to see, hopefully, a lot of these jobs be recovered,” said DeSantis.

The highest unemployment in the state is in the Orlando area.

“Just look at the theme parks,” said DeSantis.

The numbers were released a day after 98 Floridians got a letter telling them their names and social security numbers were inadvertently sent to an unsecured server.

No banking information was released. And it is not the first time data has been compromised.

On Nov. 5, 2013, as the current system was launching, News4Jax reported the first data breach.

“Something in the computer system was encoded incorrectly and resulted in an inadvertent disclosure,” said former DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio at the time.

As it did in 2013, the state is paying for a year’s worth of credit monitoring and data protection.

What we don’t know is if there have been more disclosures. We’ve asked for the information and have not gotten a response.