The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has shared that  Florida’s unemployment rate leaped by the highest percentage since the Great Recession. Florida’s unemployment rate for March shot up to 4.3% from 2.8% in February. 443,000 people are now unemployed, and that number had been 290,000 when February ended.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced that from March 15 to April 15, the Department of Economic Opportunity made 33,623 payments to individual Floridians who applied for re-employment assistance benefits, leaving most of the 825,000 unemployed Floridians still waiting.

Only 23,801 checks for $600 as part of the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus have been sent out to Floridians, which is making the situation for people even more frustrating.

State Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter, who took charge of the state’s unemployment efforts from Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson, is focused on reducing the unemployment claims backlog and getting checks into the hands of those in need in Florida as soon as possible. 

The question of the day is how long will this joblessness go on given that it is directly, and indirectly stemming from COVID-19. Typically many factors will affect the unemployment rate, but as we know, it’s basically a singular event that has caused the current state of joblessness. So, as financial assistance makes it into the hands, hopefully, of Floridians, and businesses begin to re-open, how long will it be before the economy recovers and employees get back to work? Well, no one knows for sure at this point, but it seems as if we’re getting closer to find out with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis setting up plans to re-open the state in phases.