ORLANDO, Fla. - Floridians who collect unemployment benefits must now prove they are searching for work to continue receiving unemployment.
Governor Ron DeSantis said the work search rule will be reinstated starting June 1 and require people to apply to five jobs per week. People will have to detail which jobs they apply to and how they made contact with the employer when they are going through the online process to collect state unemployment benefits.
"Now we’re transitioning from the kind of relief in the midst of a crisis to now having the more traditional reemployment outlook," Governor Ron DeSantis said.
The rule was suspended last year when many businesses were shut down because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. But now businesses are open and many owners said they cannot find people to fill positions. Hawkers Asian Street Food CEO Kaleb Harrell told FOX 35 last week his company was had 86 open positions across 11 restaurants.
Fishlips Waterfront Bar and Grill Co-Owner Rich Hensel said he needs to hire about 80 employees and his current staff is being stretched thin, causing him to reduce hours.
"Unfortunately, we are having to close Sunday at 3 o’clock, one of our busy days, but we’re doing it for the moral of our employees."
Economist Sean Snaith, Director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting at the University of Central Flordia, said the national worker shortage is being driven by increased unemployment benefits, the demands of virtual learning on working couples, and fear of contracting COVID.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says the state has more than 460-thousand jobs available across various employment websites and job listing services, including Employ Florida, which is a resource for unemployment claimants to view and apply to jobs. New unemployment claimants will now be required to register for Employ Florida.
On June 26, Florida will stop participating in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, the $300 per week supplemental FPUC payment.
People will still be able to collect the $275 per week in state unemployment benefits.
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