Florida officials announced an end to the $300 weekly federal pandemic unemployment compensation supplement on May 24, making the Sunshine State the 23rd state to opt out of the jobless boost in a bid to encourage people to get back to work amid a labor shortage and a booming economy.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the state’s employment agency, made the announcement in a release, with people no longer eligible to receive the $300 weekly supplemental Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment starting June 27.
While Florida is ending the $300 supplement, it is maintaining its participation in other federal unemployment programs—such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation—which expire in September. An early end may be in store for Florida’s participation in these programs, too, the employment agency suggested, as officials “carefully” monitor job posting and industry hiring trends.
The decision to withdraw from the jobless boost was in part prompted by April labor market data, which showed that total private-sector employment in Florida increased by 18,800 jobs, with nearly half a million job postings available in the state for job seekers.
“Florida’s economy has bounced back tremendously with over 460,000 jobs available throughout our state and the strongest economic conditions in the nation,” Dane Eagle, DEO secretary, said in a statement. “Florida’s employers are also seeing employment growth, as more Floridians, including some who completely left the workforce, are now eagerly reentering the workforce.
“Transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready to hire and expand their workforce.”
Florida business leaders have been sounding the alarm on hiring difficulties.
BY TOM OZIMEK