Florida’s unemployment rate dips slightly
The hospitality and leisure sector was the hardest hit in pandemic job losses and is beginning to recover. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s unemployment rate remained relatively stable in February, dropping just one-tenth of a percent to 4.7%, according to the jobless report released Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The rate is 1.4% higher than it was in February 2020 -- one month before pandemic job losses began mounting. The February rate reflects an estimated 474,000 Floridians out of work from a workforce of 10.1 million. The unemployment rate in the greater Jacksonville area was 3.7% in February, down from 11.5% reported in April 2020, the highest rate during the pandemic.
Judge rejects lawsuit over Florida’s unemployment system
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Leon County circuit judge on Monday dismissed a potential class-action lawsuit against the state and Deloitte Consulting stemming from problems with Florida’s online unemployment compensation system during the COVID-19 pandemic. After dismissing the case in September, Cooper allowed the plaintiffs to file a revised version. It sought damages and raised several arguments, including that the department and Deloitte were negligent and breached a fiduciary duty. This document is critically important for the court’s consideration of the pending motions to dismiss.”AdBut in a pair of orders dismissing the case, Cooper flatly denied the plaintiffs’ arguments. “After more than nine months and multiple rounds of pleading, plaintiffs are still unable to demonstrate their entitlement to relief,” he wrote.
Weekly jobless claims decline, but unemployment remains high
Weekly jobless claims decline, but unemployment remains high The Labor Department reports 730,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims for the week ending February 20. That's down 111,000 from the previous week's numbers. David Bahnsen, chief investment officer at the Bahnsen Group, joins CBSN to discuss what the latest numbers mean for the state of the economy.cbsnews.com
Florida unemployment dips to 6.1% in December
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in December but is still nearly double the jobless rate from a year ago, according to figures released by the state on Friday. Last month's unemployment rate was 6.1%, up 3.2 percentage points from December 2019. The industry to gain the most jobs in the Jacksonville area over the year in December 2020, increasing by 1,100 jobs. The industry losing the most jobs over the year was leisure and hospitality, decreasing by 10,400 jobs. St. Johns and Wakulla counties had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.6%.
Unemployment rate holds steady in state, ticks up in Northeast Florida
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s unemployment rate held steady at 6.4% in November as businesses did not boost seasonal hiring as much as usual amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The statewide unemployment rate in November 2019, before the pandemic hammered the economy, was 2.8%. The Jacksonville area’s average unemployment rate was 5.2% in November. The tourism-heavy Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan statistical area maintained the highest unemployment rate at 7.7 percent, with Osceola County unemployment at 9.7% and Orange County at 8.1%. The decrease in the national unemployment rate in November was linked primarily to a large number of workers leaving the labor force.
Florida unemployment payments top $18 billion
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida has topped $18 billion paid out in its unemployment system since the COVID-19 pandemic began causing major economic damage in March. From March 15 to Sunday, the system had paid $18,003,063,834 to claimants, with much of the money coming from the federal government, according to information posted Monday on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website. In all, the state had received 4,508,856 claims during the period, with 2,078,413 claimants paid
State’s jobless rate rises to 7.6% as NE Florida’s rate falls
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida posted a 7.6% unemployment rate in September, a slight uptick as the state’s hospitality and tourism industries continue to face long-term struggles during the coronavirus pandemic. The September mark was up 0.3 percentage points from August, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state initially reported the August rate at 7.4% but revised it Friday to 7.3%. The September rate reflected 770,000 jobless Floridians -- 27,000 more than in August -- out of a labor force of 10.14 million people. The picture is quite different in metro Jacksonville, with a 5.1% average rate for September -- actually 0.6% lower than August.
State, Deloitte get win in pandemic unemployment lawsuit
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In at least an initial win for the state and Deloitte Consulting, a Leon County circuit judge has dismissed a potential class-action lawsuit stemming from major problems with Florida’s unemployment-compensation system amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Economic Opportunity runs the unemployment system, while Deloitte was a contractor that helped put CONNECT in place in 2013. During the June hearing, Cooper indicated he expected the dispute to eventually be appealed to the 1st District Court of Appeal. Cooper wrote in this week’s order that the plaintiffs' attorneys had requested an opportunity to file an amended complaint if he dismissed the lawsuit. “But this lawsuit is not the right place to address those concerns.”But when Cooper asked whether the state or Deloitte was at fault for the problems, Mattox quickly responded, “It’s both.”
Despite fewer claims, Florida’s unemployment system will get another surge
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – First-time unemployment claims in Florida dropped nearly 25% last week, partly attributed to bars and craft breweries serving drinks again as Gov. The U.S. Department of Labor estimated Florida had 29,360 first-time unemployment claims during the week that ended Sept. 26, down from 39,028 the prior week. State leaders admit some glitches still plague the system that couldn’t keep up with the surge of claims after the pandemic cost the jobs of millions of Floridians. By all accounts, the technical part of the system is working, unlike the last two quarterly check-ins, when the system was overwhelmed. The state Department of Economic Development recently posted a 7.4 percent jobless rate in August for Florida, reflecting an estimated 753,000 Floridians out of work.
Florida’s unemployment rate falls to 7.4 percent
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s unemployment rate dropped a whopping four points in August, according to figures released by the state Friday, bringing it to 7.4 percent. The state reported 46,000 private sector jobs were created in August as 143,000 Floridians returned to work. [View county-by-county unemployment data using the table below]But the state’s economy isn’t out of the woods just yet. The national unemployment rate also dropped by nearly two points in August, now sitting at 8.4 percent. It’s the first time that rate has dipped to single digits since the beginning of the pandemic.
Florida sees uptick in jobless claims
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida saw a slight increase in first-time jobless claims last week, as the U.S. Department of Labor reported new unemployment applications nationally went back above 1 million during the same period. The federal agency estimated 66,322 new claims were filed in Florida during the week ending Aug. 15, up 4,738 from the prior week. Nationally, 1.106 million claims were filed last week. Since mid-March, Florida has received about 3.67 million unemployment claims. Florida last week continued to be among the state leaders in new claims.
Florida could look at loan for unemployment benefits
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Florida might seek a loan through the U.S. Department of Labor to cover the states portion of a plan by President Donald Trump to extend federal unemployment benefits and have states put up 25 percent of the cash. Were looking to see what that would entail, DeSantis said during an appearance at Florida State University. And so, if Im having to potentially have general revenue obligated for this (unemployment benefits), then that is something that would be very problematic, given our circumstances. That money came on top of regular state unemployment benefits. Florida has distributed just under $13.5 billion in state and federal benefits since March 15.
Florida jobless claims up as DeSantis, Scott spar
Meanwhile, with more than 3.48 million unemployment applications filed since mid-March, a verbal battle has reemerged over the state’s troubled jobless system after Gov. Rick Scott, who responded Wednesday by advising DeSantis to “quit blaming others.”The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday reported an estimated 73,955 first-time jobless claims were filed in Florida as part of 1.186 million new claims nationally during the week that ended Aug. 1. The national total represented the 20th consecutive week with more than 1 million new claims, but it was down from 1.4 million claims in each of the prior two weeks. New York, with 73,740 new claims, and Georgia, with 72,695 claims, were just behind Florida for the week. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has distributed $13 billion in state and federal assistance to 1.8 million unemployment claimants.
Unemployment gap leaves self-employed & gig workers hanging
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The additional $600 federal unemployment checks Floridians had been receiving on top of their state unemployment checks expired Friday. That has left those in the state who are self-employed or reliant on the gig economy out in the cold. Webb applied for unemployment back in April, but because he’s self-employed he doesn’t qualify for state benefits — only the $600 federal benefits. But even the fiscally conservative Florida TaxWatch wants to see the federal unemployment aid extended. Nearly $8 of every $10 dollars the state has paid out in unemployment are from the federal unemployment program.
Florida tops 87,000 jobless claims last week
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. First-time unemployment claims in Florida fell below 100,000 last week, as the state has recorded more than 3.3 million jobless claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated Florida accounted for 87,062 of the 1.43 million claims filed nationally during the week that ended July 25. Only California had more first-time claims last week with an estimated 249,007, which was down more than 40,000 from the prior week. The first 28 days of July saw 523,565 unemployment claims filed in Florida. Since March 15, Florida has processed nearly 3.09 million unemployment claims.
Florida jobless rate drops in June as businesses reopen
ORLANDO, Fla. Floridas unemployment rate dropped to 10.4% in June from the previous months 13.7% rate as the states theme parks, beaches and other tourism-related businesses started reopening after weeks of coronavirus-related lockdowns, the Florida Department of Economic Opptorunity reported Friday. Many businesses, particularly in South Florida, are facing a reduced demand and a lot of uncertainty due to the new surge in Covid-19 cases," said Hector Sandoval, an economist at the University of Florida. Data from FDEO shows the jobless situation in Northeast Florida is not as dire as in South Florida. The Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area unemployment rate for June was 8.0%, down from 10.4% last month. Year-over-year, the hospitality industry has lost about 1 in 5 jobs in Florida, or 268,400 positions, the hardest-hit industry in the state.
Florida jobless claims nearly double last week
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. First-time unemployment claims in Florida nearly doubled last week as coronavirus cases spiked and as bars and nightclubs continued to be largely shut down. The U.S. Department of Labor issued a report Thursday that estimated 129,408 first-time jobless claims were filed in the state during the week that ended July 11. That was up from 66,941 claims during the week that ended July 4. Nationally, 1.3 million initial claims were filed last week, with an average of 1.375 million claims over the past four weeks. The new U.S. Department of Labor numbers wont be reflected when the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity releases an unemployment report Friday.
As COVID-19 Increases, So Does Unemployment
WASHINGTON – As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, so do the number of people applying for unemployment. The state’s unemployment dashboard shows Florida crossed the three million claim mark and has paid out a whopping $10 billion since the middle of March. About one in six claims filed is a duplicate, but the dashboard shows nearly 2.5 million unique Floridians have filed. She’s gotten check after check after check. So far, the state has spent more than half of its $4 billion unemployment trust fund.
Officials view schools as key to solving unemployment woes
Interestingly, as Walt Disney World prepares to reopen this weekend, its home county of Osceola is showing the highest unemployment rate in the state at 37 percent. Ron DeSantis and US Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia made it clear that opening schools this fall isnt just about learning gaps but unemployment as well. Scalia hopes opening schools will give people a place to send their kids, so they can go back to work. If we dont get our schools open, it will be that much harder for working adult women who are facing a higher unemployment rate to get back to work, he said. Many will exhaust all of their unemployment benefits at the end of July, raising the question: whats next?
Florida unemployment rate jumps to 14.5%
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida posted a 14.5% unemployment rate in May as businesses and workers continued to be hammered by the coronavirus pandemic. The 14.5% mark was up from an adjusted rate of 13.8% in April, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state initially estimated the April rate at 12.9% but released the adjusted number Friday. The May rate reflected 1.412 million jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9.709 million people. Here are the unemployment rates for Northeast Florida counties:
Floridas unemployment rate rose to 14.5% in May
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Floridas unemployment rate jumped higher in May, hitting a record 14.5% as the state continued reeling from the economic shutdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The department also revised upward the April unemployment rate to 13.8%. Before the coronavirus hit and devastated the states tourism, retail and other industries, Februarys unemployment rate had been 2.8%. Before April, the highest unemployment Florida had seen since World War II had been 11.3% in early 2010. St. Johns County and Nassau counties showed the largest increases while Putnam County had the largest decrease in May unemployment rate.
Unemployment system glitch costs Floridians thousands in payments
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Floridas unemployment system is once again in hot water after thousands of dollars were not deposited into peoples accounts because of what the Department of Economic Opportunity called technical issues.The DEO said it found two technology concerns that prevented people from getting their Federal Pandemic Unemployment compensation over the last few weeks. Thats $600 extra a week that unexpectedly stopped for some families that depend on that money. The Department of Economic Opportunity explained what went wrong:Individuals who requested that their claims be backdated were not included in recent payment files for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments. The department has identified these individuals and should have them paid their $600 federal payment within 5 business days.That technical problem cost Daphne Glenns family $1,800. Glenn said the federal money just stopped out of nowhere after May 19 and no one told her what happened.
Unemployment system continues to frustrate Floridians
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Applying to Florida’s unemployment system is relatively easy. Morad filed for unemployment March 29. RELATED: Florida’s unemployment system adds waiting roomShe knows with more people applying, the system is going to be even more overwhelmed. New numbers show Florida and Georgia ranked second and third in the country for the most unemployment claims filed last week. For the week that ended May 30, 206,494 unemployment claims were filed in Florida.
FTC: Is a scammer getting unemployment benefits in your name?
People learn about the fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or their employer about their supposed application for benefits. Report the fraud to your state unemployment benefits agency. These include placing a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit, getting your free credit reports, and closing any fraudulent accounts opened in your name. These include placing a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit, getting your free credit reports, and closing any fraudulent accounts opened in your name. If you get benefits you never applied for, report it to your state unemployment agency and ask for instructions.
Florida’s unemployment system adds waiting room
Perhaps the most apparent change to the system came in the form of a virtual waiting room now available through CONNECT, the state’s oft-criticized unemployment system. "The CONNECT Virtual Waiting Room allows claimants to reserve their place in line while other claimants access the system,” the spokeswoman said. If you’ve ever dealt with the unemployment system, half the battle is logging in. Tracy Pando is well acquainted with Florida’s unemployment website. At the request of News4Jax, Pando tried out the virtual waiting room.
Judge rejects ordering fixes to Florida unemployment system
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Pointing to the constitutional separation of powers, a Leon County circuit judge Thursday refused to order the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to take steps to fix the states much-maligned unemployment compensation system to process and pay claims. The judge acknowledged that the decision is going to make a lot of people unhappy with me but said he also hadnt seen evidence about how the unemployment system could be fixed. Daniel Nordby, an attorney for the Department of Economic Opportunity, said the agency has sympathy for people who are out of work and have faced challenges in getting unemployment benefits. Cooper pointed to a crush of unemployment claims that the system was not previously designed to handle. The Department of Economic Opportunity received more than 2.21 million unemployment claims from March 15 to Wednesday, according to numbers it posted online.
The investigation into why Florida paid more than 77-million-dollars for a faulty unemployment technology system is undeway
The investigation into why Florida paid more than 77-million-dollars for a faulty unemployment technology system is undewayPublished: May 28, 2020, 6:08 pmThe inspector General who's looking at documents is asking for patience.
Coastal Georgia hard hit as Georgia unemployment rate hits record
The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate reached 11.9% in April -- an all-time high across all categories. While last weeks unemployment claims of 165,499, down 12,000 over the previous week and down for three of the last four weeks. Payments of unemployment benefits last week totaled $159,501,356 in regular weekly unemployment benefits, down $28 million over the prior week. The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States was 2.1 million last week, a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week. As of May 26, the Georgia Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Balance was $1,65 billion, 35% from March 24.
Investigation into Floridas unemployment system underway
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The investigation into why Florida paid more than $77 million for an unemployment technology system that hasnt worked properly since the beginning in 2013 is underway. Ron DeSantis first called for an investigation into the failed unemployment system on May 1. One of the things were looking at is whether this particular project was designed properly, tested properly and designed with appropriate capacity. Miguel told us she will have a better idea of where the investigation is going in about a month. But no investigation is going to speed up payments to the thousands still waiting.
Lawsuit seeks to speed up Florida unemployment claims
Lawyers for dozens who have not seen a dime argued the state knew the system would fail and didn’t do anything about it. They told the judge they spent as many as four hours a day trying to file or check on their claim with no luck. Attorney Marie Mattox told the judge the state had plenty of advance notice that the system wasn’t working. Reginald Ellison, a recently laid off DEO call center employee was asked about information and even whole claims just disappearing. “The main the piece of information that seems to be getting lost is the claimants income information,” said Ellison.
New jobless claims in Florida stabilize at triple pre-pandemic level
The U.S. Department of Labor reported that Floridians filed 223,927 jobless claims last week, compared to 223,082 claims filed in the previous week. Only California and New York had more new claims filed last week. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has received more than 2 million claims seeking unemployment benefits from Floridians, though only 1.6 million claims have been verified. Just under 1 million jobless workers in Florida have been paid more than $2.6 billion in benefits. Floridas workforce before pandemic-related business closures stood at 10 million workers.
Georgia jobless rate hits all-time high at 11.9% amid virus
ATLANTA Georgia set a new all-time high for unemployment in April, with the jobless rate rising to 11.9% as waves of workers lost their jobs due to COVID-19. The state only in February hit an all-time low of 3.1% unemployment and now has surpassed its previous all-time high of 10.6% set in December 2010. The jobless rate had begun to climb in March as the first effects of coronavirus related shutdowns showed up, rising to 4.2%. By comparison, the nationwide unemployment rate rose to 14.7% in April from 4.4% in March. That brings the number of Georgians who have sought jobless benefits since the crisis began to more than 2 million.
Department of Economic of Opportunity has received 50 million phone calls since March 15
Published: May 20, 2020, 7:37 am Updated: May 20, 2020, 8:23 amJACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The phone number for unemployment benefits for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has received 50 million phone calls since March 15, according to Sec. Satter told News4Jax sister station WKMG in Orlando 1 million phone calls were placed to the hotline on Monday alone. He said the best time for someone to call about unemployment benefits is in the late afternoon. Anyone who needs to file for unemployment assistance in Florida can click on this link. “We have hundreds of people in different stages of training, so we can get those wait times down,” Satter said.
Many of Floridas unemployed are still waiting for help
Brooke Stanton said she has heard the message hundreds, if not thousands, of times. "We tell people dont call 108 times, Satter said. Yesterday we had a million phone calls," Satter said. Weve had 15 million phone calls since March 15. But it is of little consolation to the thousands, like Stanton, who are still waiting for help.
DeSantis blames paperwork problems for unresolved unemployment claims
Ron DeSantis said Monday that most remaining unsettled claims in the state’s heavily criticized unemployment system are due to incomplete applications. DeSantis said forms often lack Social Security numbers or information about wages earned when the applicants were employed or they improperly list reasons for people being out of work. Senate Democrats on Monday delivered to DeSantis’ office information about more than 1,000 applicants who have been waiting for unemployment benefits since March. DeSantis said Monday that after work over the weekend, 97 percent of the unique and valid applicants have drawn state or federal benefits. The department in a Sunday recap also reported 43,813 claims have come from out of state, and fraud has been detected in 32,221 cases.
Frustrated over unemployment system, laid-off hospitality worker walks to Tallahassee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. A Palm Beach hospitality worker spent 27 days walking 417 miles to the state capital to raise awareness about Floridas unemployment system, which has been criticized for its difficulty in filing claims and also for delays in getting payments during the coronavirus pandemic. After his offers to volunteer to help clear up the backlog went unanswered, Beau Guyott will spend the night in Tallahassee before taking a 6 a.m. bus home on Monday in case he is recalled to work. He said he filed March 17 for state unemployment benefits and hasnt seen a dime, despite being told his application is complete. He spent most nights sleeping in a sleeping bag, with an occasional hotel room. His journey has been chronicled on the web site WalkTallahassee.com.
Florida continues lagging behind volume of unemployment claims
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There are new calls for the state to quickly pay unemployment claims now and worry about the legitimacy of the claims later. Statistics released on Friday show the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity continues to see more claims than it is paying. “Pay the damn claims — pay them," said State Sen. Perry Thurston. “It can be fixed with a stroke of a pen by the governor via executive order,” said State Sen. Gary Farmer. "We have people who will testify that they were instructed that if someone calls and they can’t pay the rent, can’t pay the mortgage, to tell people to call the emergency number of the United Way,” attorney Gautier Kitchen said.
Some Georgians forget jobless benefit claims as filings rise
ATLANTA – Georgia’s labor commissioner has a message to people seeking unemployment benefits: Don’t forget to claim them each week. Recipients have to claim their benefits each week, telling officials they are still unemployed. The Atlanta zoo and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens each announced plans to reopen. Another 241,000 Georgia workers filed for unemployment last week, pushing the state total of those who have sought jobless benefits to 1.8 million since the crisis began. Outdoor areas of the Atlanta zoo will reopen to the public Saturday, with employees wearing masks and the number of visitors limited, zoo officials said.
As unemployment claims top 1 million, Florida says system making progress
As unemployment claims top 1 million, Florida says system making progressPublished: May 5, 2020, 6:03 pmFlorida is making progress paying unemployment claims, based on the latest numbers from the Department of Economic Opportunity.