July 16, 2010

The decline in Florida’s unemployment rate from 11.7 percent to 11.4 percent in June masks some less positive news.  Florida actually lost 1,900 jobs, which means some workers apparently have dropped out of the job market.  More than one million Floridians remain jobless.

Their plight may become even worse.  Unless the Florida Legislature acts, tens of thousands of jobless Floridians will be denied extended unemployment benefits funded by the federal government. 

After months of dispute, Congress finally appears on the verge of appropriating funds for the additional jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.  But Florida law now prohibits jobless payments approved after June 5.

That one sentence in Florida law will result in the denial of benefits to 35,000 Floridians who exhaust their jobless payments each week.

It seems like a no-brainer:  making a slight change in Florida law to allow about $290 million in federal funds to flow directly to Floridians.  In addition to providing critical support to these workers, each dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.64 in economic activity.   With Florida’s economy struggling to grow, that money will help businesses when jobless workers pay housing costs, buy food, and pay for other costs of living.  Without it, Florida’s recovery will be slower.

Comments
Vashikaran
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