Beginning June 26, Florida will end the $300-a-week payments to residents without a job, ending the federal boost to unemployment benefits. However, Florida is not ending “two other federal unemployment programs that provide benefits for freelancers, the self-employed, independent contractors and certain people affected by the coronavirus pandemic and for those who’ve run out of their regular state benefits” reports CNN.
Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity announced Monday that the state will withdraw from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program. Florida will be the 23rd state to terminate the weekly payments, enticing people to return to the job force instead of relying on weekly government support to continue to stay home. Particularly as businesses begin to reopen, owners have been hard-pressed to find hires who prefer to work rather than simply receive jobless benefits.
Dane Eagle, Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said in a news release, “Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida’s economy has bounced back tremendously with over 460,000 jobs available throughout our state and the strongest economic conditions in the nation.” Eagle added, “transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready to hire and expand their workforce.”
At least four states will offer return-to-work bonuses instead of the alternative from the federal unemployment system. Programs from Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package signed into law in March are scheduled to end early September for states that are continuing them.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at a news conference in Miami Monday saying, “the real reason is simple – we got almost half a million job openings in the state of Florida. We’re proud of the fact that we’ve got a lot of economic momentum and so now we’re transitioning from relief in the midst of a crisis to now having the more traditional reemployment outlook.”
Biden and Democratic lawmakers are fighting the Republican-led states on their actions. “Democratic lawmakers and consumer advocates have appealed to the US Department of Labor to prevent the GOP states from pulling out of the federal unemployment programs, arguing that many Americans are still having trouble finding suitable jobs or can’t work because of childcare or health-related issues caused by the pandemic” reports CNN.
“But an administration official told CNN last week that there is nothing the agency can do.”