Florida ending $300 supplemental payments from federal government for unemployed workers

Payments set to expire June 26
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Director resigns amid unemployment issues
Posted at 10:48 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 11:28:51-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida will join a handful of other states dropping their extra $300 weekly benefits from the federal government for unemployed workers.

The announcement was made Monday morning by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

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Citing the need for unemployed Floridians to return to the workforce, Secretary Dane Eagle said the federal payments will end June 26.

The $300 from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program is in addition to the benefits paid by the state to unemployed workers.

More than 20 other states, all with Republican governors, have made similar announcements to end the extra $300 federal supplement by June or early July.

Other states that are dropping the benefits this summer include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The federal benefits program for unemployed workers is set to expire on Sept. 6 for states that do not opt out.

Eagle said Florida has gained nearly 800,000 private-sector jobs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, he said there are more than 450,000 online job postings throughout the state for job seekers.

"The decision to end Florida’s participation in the FPUC program is essential to keeping Florida's economic momentum going that Gov. [Ron] DeSantis has had such a big role in creating," said Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson. "Florida currently has more than 450,000 jobs available throughout the state. This single action will help fill thousands of these vacancies and aid in ending the worker shortage throughout the state."

The latest numbers from Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity show the state's unemployment rate grew a tenth of a percent from March to April, landing at 4.8 percent. The current national average is 6.1 percent.

Florida's $275 weekly payments are among the lowest in the nation.