WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The coronavirus pandemic’s grip on the U.S. economy appears to be slightly weakening.
Vanessa Dickie, a mother of two children, is still out of work and unable to collect unemployment.
She and her family, like so many others, have been financially impacted by the pandemic.
“Me being out of work, it’s been rough. Financially, we felt it," Dickie said. "Thankfully my husband was working, but I couldn’t imagine if he wasn’t.”
Dickie said she is headed back to her job soon as a server at a local restaurant but questions remain.
“How is it going to affect the restaurant industry? Are people going to want to go out. Are they going to be too scared?” Dickie asked.
She is among 2.5 million other Americans headed back to work, according to new unemployment numbers.
The national unemployment rate dipped to 13.3 percent or 21 million unemployed Americans, which is down from 14.7 percent from a month earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Tom Veenstra with CareerSource Palm Beach County said he is surprised and encouraged by the new jobs report.
“This is the first bit of encouraging news we’ve had in months,” Veenstra said. “We hope that, that will translate to a state and county level when the new information comes out in two weeks.”
Palm Beach County’s unemployment rose to a record 13.9 percent in April. At the time, Veenstra had about 300 local job openings. As of Friday, he said the number is 2,800.
“It’s showing us that things are beginning to reopen, rehiring and hiring is ramping up, and that’s encouraging,” Veenstra said.
The latest unemployment numbers for Palm Beach County, the Treasure Coast and the state of Florida are expected to be released June 19.