Gov. Ron DeSantis expects Florida to see “positive” jobs numbers next week when a June unemployment report is released.
DeSantis addressed the issue Monday as $600-a-week federal unemployment benefits are slated to expire at the end of July and as Florida deals with a surge in coronavirus cases.
Amid debate about whether federal aid will be extended, DeSantis said he supports Congress structuring benefits that would provide a “financial premium” as an incentive to return to work. But he said the issue for the state is how many jobs are able to return from the economic shutdown.
“If it's 50 percent, you know, you're going to have some problems,” DeSantis said during an appearance in The Villages. “If it's 90 percent, you know, we're going to be able to kind of deal with it.”
“We obviously haven't had the job numbers yet, for our state in particular, but if you look at the national numbers, you know, we're obviously anticipating a positive increase here in Florida to be reflected from June,” DeSantis continued. “And then obviously, we want to continue to do that as we move forward and in a very safe way.”
Florida’s tourism-reliant economy saw its unemployment rate go from 13.8 percent in April to 14.5 percent in May, even while businesses started reopening amid the pandemic.
The jobless rate was based on an estimated 1.412 million Floridians out of work from a labor force of nearly 9.71 million. June numbers are slated to be released by the state on July 17.
Last week, the national unemployment rate decreased 2.2 percentage points to 11.1 percent.DeSantis’ optimism came despite the state in late June having to order bars and nightclubs to close again because of widespread violations of guidelines aimed at preventing spread of the virus. Also, on Monday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced that he was ordering the closure of restaurant dining rooms, gyms and banquet facilities because of the surge of infections.
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