DeSantis has message for Florida's unemployed: Start looking for jobs again

Florida schools split on mask requirements as DeSantis bans mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent executive order does not allow localities to implement mask mandates, ending the COVID state of emergency in the state. The Department of Education clarified that the order does not apply to school districts.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week said those residents receiving unemployment benefits will soon be required once again to show proof they’re looking for a job. 

The requirement had been waived during the coronavirus pandemic when unemployment in the state skyrocketed to nearly 14% as businesses closed in April of last year, according to the News Service of Florida. 

By March of this year, Florida’s unemployment rate was lower than 5%.

“Normally when you’re getting unemployment, the whole idea is that’s temporary, and you need to be looking for work to be able to get off unemployment,” DeSantis said at a news conference, the news service reported. “It was a disaster [at the beginning of the pandemic], so we suspended those job search requirements. I think it’s pretty clear now, we have an abundance of job openings.” 

“I think it’s pretty clear now, we have an abundance of job openings.” 

DeSantis mentioned some employers have said they’ve struggled to hire workers as their businesses reopen. 

The governor signed the executive order waiving the work requirement last year and said it will end May 29. 

“We suspended that last year at this time because, quite frankly, there weren’t jobs,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

“I think now we’re in just a different situation, you have a surplus of jobs, particularly in restaurant, lodging, hospitality, that people want to hire,” he added. “But we also just want to make sure, like, look, if you’re really unemployed, can’t get a job, that’s one thing. But making sure that you’re doing your due diligence to look for work, and making sure those incentives align better.”

Unemployed people would be required to apply for at least five jobs a week. 

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