Floridians who want to stay on the unemployment dole must prove that they are actively seeking work at least 5 times per week.
The policy was started on Tuesday, and it requires unemployment recipients to submit at least five applications each week and register with their local career centers.
The change is spurred on by the state’s desperate need for workers, particularly in the hospitality industry which has forced restaurants to cut back operational hours.
General manager of a Florida restaurant, Frank Sierra, gave approval of the new rules saying that he believes it’s going to help put more people to work. He explains that reduced staff was acceptable half a year ago when demand was low, but that now the time to scale back up is here. He says that the new policy should help employers get more applicants.
Sierra says that finding hires has been more difficult than is ordinary, citing times in the past when a job posting would reliably receive “an overwhelming amount” of respondents, but in recent times only “getting a hit here or there.”
Unemployed Floridians currently bring in a weekly income of $275 from the state plus $300 from the federal government, worth over $14 per hour if divided by the standard 40-hour week. The federal bonus runs out in September, but some states such as Florida are cutting off that bonus earlier.
Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the state’s suspension of bonus unemployment checks because pandemic restrictions were scheduled to be completely ended by June.
DeSantis explained that the idea behind unemployment is to offer temporary aid to people who are seeking jobs. The pandemic brought about a “disaster” he says, “so we suspended. . . job search requirements,” but he says that now “it’s pretty clear” that there’s “an abundance of job openings.”
DeSantis says that the policy isn’t meant to harm people who really can’t get a job, rather it’s meant to incentivize able workers to perform “due diligence. . . look for work.”
Author: Randy Pittman