UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

When are weekly unemployment benefits in Florida ending? Deadline and reason

Florida is joining 22 other states in ending $300 weekly federal unemployment booster payments to encourage residents to fill job vacancies.

When are weekly unemployment benefits in Florida ending? Deadline and reason
MANDEL NGAN AFP

Florida announced Monday that the state will join 22 other states ceasing participation in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC), the $300 weekly extra payment to those receiving unemployment benefits. Unlike the majority of those states, it will keep other federal unemployment benefits.

Three weeks ago, Montana began a trend among Republican-led states of announcing that they would no longer participate in some or all of the federal unemployment programs set up under the CARES Act last year to help the millions of Americans thrown out of work due to the covid-19 pandemic. Those programs have been twice extended, most recently under the American Rescue Plan which finances that economic assistance to the jobless until 6 September.

Why is Florida stopping the unemployment benefits?

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) justified the move due to the strong economic indicators and the nearly half a million job vacancies that need to be filled.

“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida’s economy has bounced back tremendously with over 460,000 jobs available throughout our state and the strongest economic conditions in the nation,” Dane Eagle, Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said. “Florida’s employers are also seeing employment growth, as more Floridians, including some who completely left the workforce, are now eagerly reentering the workforce. 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 DEO cited that Florida has gained nearly 800,000 private-sector jobs since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic. The decision came after April’s jobs report showed total private-sector employment increased by 18,800 jobs, while more than 460,000 online posting for positions in Florida were available to job seekers.

When will the FPUC benefits end in Florida?

Effective 26 June 2021, those eligible for Reemployment Assistance will no longer receive the supplemental $300 weekly FPUC payment as part of DEO’s ‘Return to Work’ initiative.

Florida will join four other states in keeping additional federal pandemic unemployment assistance programs through to the 6 September end date for the time being. However, DEO in the announcement said that it "continues to carefully monitor job posting and industry hiring trends."

These include:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides unemployment benefits to those who normally don’t qualify like the self-employed and gig workers, or those who couldn’t work due to the pandemic.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides those that have exhausted their state benefits with additional weeks.
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, which provides an additional $100 to those that are both wage earners and self-employed.

New report goes against GOP argument that $300 weekly extra dissuades job seeking

A preliminary study out of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco undercuts GOP arguments that the topped-up benefits are responsible for slowing the labor market recovery and contribute significantly to a labor shortage. According to the study by Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau and Robert G. Valletta, few out-of-work Americans would turn down a job offer just to continue receiving an extra $300 a week in supplemental federal jobless aid except in the case of the lowest-paid positions.

Furthermore, when the researchers extrapolated their results from an earlier study on the effects of the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits from last year, “the $300 weekly UI supplement currently in place has been making a small but likely noticeable contribution to job-finding rates and employers' perceptions of worker availability."