Florida Gov. DeSantis to unemployed: Start looking for a job

A now hiring sign posted outside a Denny's in the International Drive area of Orlando. (Nadeen Yanes, News 6)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Floridians receiving unemployment benefits will soon have to provide proof that they’re looking for a job, according to statements made by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday.

DeSantis lifted the requirement that people receiving benefits look for work early in the pandemic when unemployment was rising and few were hiring. But DeSantis has lifted restrictions on businesses, and the unemployment rate is below the national average.

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“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. “It was a disaster, so we suspended those job search requirements. I think it’s pretty clear now, we have an abundance of job openings.”

He said May will be the last month when the search for work requirement will be in place.

“We absolutely can put more people to work. The demand is there. Business what to hire more people, and I think we can go in that direction very soon,” DeSantis said.

While in Panama City Beach Thursday DeSantis announced $111 billion in long-term recovery grants for 22 communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. He said Florida’s economy is booming and slammed states still under pandemic lockdowns.

“You see businesses that have been destroyed you see a lot more people out of work, a lot of these big lockdown states have almost twice the unemployment rate, or 4.7%, a lot of them are 7.5%, 8%unemployment,” the governor said.

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