Florida plans to end extra jobless benefits next month

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida is joining a growing list of Republican-led states that plan to end participation in a federal program that gave an extra $300 per week in benefits to the unemployed during the pandemic.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Monday that the state will withdraw from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program effective June 26.

State labor officials said private-sector employment increased by 18,800 jobs last month and more than 460,000 online job postings were made throughout the state for job seekers.

“Florida’s employers are also seeing employment growth, as more Floridians, including some who completely left the workforce, are now eagerly reentering the workforce,” said Dane Eagle, Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready to hire and expand their workforce.”

At least 22 other states also have announced plans to end the enhanced benefits early.

Florida will continue to participate in other federal pandemic-related unemployment programs aimed at the self-employed, people who already have exhausted their unemployment benefits and gig workers. These federal benefit programs are set to expire in early September.

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