TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) – Unemployment recipients in Florida will soon once again have to show they’re actually looking for work if they hope to continue collecting checks.
The Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the state’s reemployment program, says there are plenty of employers looking to hire.
Altrua Global Solutions, a printing company in the state’s capital city, usually prints ads and promotional material for businesses.
Now they’re primarily printing help wanted signs and even they’re having a hard time finding employees to do the work.
“A lot of people, they’ll come in and interview, but then we might hire them and they don’t show up for the job,” said Altrua President Skip Smelko.
It’s become a common sight across the state, ‘closed due to pandemic signs’ replaced by ‘now hiring’ signs.
“The 2021 pandemic is unemployment. Not being able to hire,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle.
Eagle announced Wednesday the state will soon reimplement work search requirements for those collecting unemployment.
“The goal here is to help everyone find employment. There is hope on the horizon. 400,000 jobs are out there,” said Eagle.
The state is hoping the announcement will send a message to unemployed Floridians to start looking for a job now, before benefits run out entirely.
“I don’t want them to wake up Monday morning and realize unemployment is not available and they also don’t have a job.”
The state is also hoping to help Floridians in that process, requiring new benefit recipients to sign up with Employ Florida, which will link them with businesses looking for workers.
“The network is here to help Florida businesses, large and small, connect with the hundreds of thousands of Floridians we know want to get back to work,” said President & CEO of Career Source Florida Michelle Dennard.
Those who are currently collecting checks won’t be required to register with Employ Florida, but both new and current recipients will have to prove they’re looking for work to receive benefits after May 29.
Secretary Eagle also said the state doesn’t currently plan to opt-out of the additional $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit program before it expires in September, but going forward he said the option remains on the table.