In Florida, the state Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced on Monday that it will be ending its weekly payments of $300 worth of pandemic unemployment in late June, according to The Hill.
In the statement, the DEO said that the payments would cease on June 26th, pointing to the fact that there are currently over 460,000 job listings in the state, as well as the state having added 18,000 jobs to the private sector in the month of April. Overall, Florida has created approximately 800,000 jobs since the pandemic first started over one year ago.
DEO Secretary Dane Eagle credited Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and his decisive leadership for the quick economic turnaround in the state, resulting in Florida having “the strongest economic conditions in the nation” even despite the overall national numbers lagging significantly in the April jobs report.
“Florida’s employers are also seeing more employment growth, as more Floridians, including some who completely left the workforce, are now eagerly reentering the workforce,” Eagle explained. “Transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready to hire and expand their workforce.”
The decision received widespread praise from business owners and industry leaders, with the Associated Industries of Florida releasing a statement saying that the decision “will greatly help in getting Floridians to return to work,” and will ultimately help overcome “a labor shortage that is hurting not only small businesses but industries throughout the state that help drive our economy in a big way.”
Florida’s move comes as several other states, including South Carolina and Montana, have also decided to end their weekly unemployment benefits in order to spur more economic growth. It has been confirmed in multiple studies that continued unemployment benefits are more likely to convince people to remain unemployed rather than look for work. This was widely seen as one of the key factors in the abysmal jobs report in April; despite economists’ predictions that the nation would create nearly one million jobs that month, the final report came out to just over 266,000, in one of the worst economic miscalculations in modern history.