Florida’s unemployment soars to record high, 12.9%

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released the Sunshine State’s unemployment, a tragic stat which hit a record high in April, at 12.9 percent.

The state’s unemployment rate tripled from 4.3 percent in March to 12.9 percent in April.

Gov. Ron DeSantis hopes the state re-opening can bring some of those jobs back quickly.

“I think what we have to do, and one of the reasons I wanted to do a safe, smart, step-by-step approach to recovery. If we can get people back to work, get some confidence back in the communities, you’ll start to see a lot of these jobs recovered,” DeSantis said.

The Tampa Bay area reflects the same pattern seen nationally at a rate of 13.1 unemployment, up from 4.3 in March.

Many of the jobs lost, over 25%, were people working for a restaurant, bar or other food service.

“I think what they should consider letting people take a full lump sum like if they are entitled to a certain amount of money, over however many weeks, just give it to them and then let people go back to work so they can get a big lump sum from unemployment and they can go back to work and make money that way. That could create a good incentive to get people back in the workforce,” DeSantis said about empowering people to earn money.

On Thursday, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity acknowledged a security breach in their system.

“We have notified individuals that were part of a data security incident associated with Reemployment Assistance claims,” department spokeswoman Paige Landrum said in a statement. “This issue was addressed within one hour after we became aware of the incident.”

Sen. Jason Pizzo says he talked with some at DEO Friday and the breach that impacted 98 people was not a hack. He says he was told an email containing the applicants’ information was sent to someone who doesn’t have the authority to have that information. It was part of server test.

A spokesperson for the DEO said the agency is offering free identity protection services to those affected by the breach.


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