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Experts say schools are crucial to unemployment

As of Friday morning there were 2,958,663 applications filed since March 15th, an more than 138,000 have been filed since July first. (AP)
As of Friday morning there were 2,958,663 applications filed since March 15th, an more than 138,000 have been filed since July first. (AP)(Associated Press)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 7:42 PM CDT
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Florida will see its three millionth unemployment application this weekend.

As of Friday morning, there were 2,958,663 applications filed since March 15th, an more than 138,000 have been filed since July first.

As Disney prepares to open this weekend, its home county, Osceola, is showing the highest unemployment in the state at 37 percent.

It is still the number one problem Orlando State Representative Anna Eskamani is hearing from constituents.

“It’s like non-stop to this moment. My phone…I had a Miami woman crying this morning. I mean, it’s just so bad, so bad,” said Eskamani.

During the first nine days of July, Florida saw over 172,000 unique unemployment claims.

Up to 29,000 are people who filed, went back to work, and are re-filing.

“Every week we’re finding large corporations furloughing or just plain laying off people,” said Orlando State Senator Linda Stewart.

Senator Stewart worries more furloughs will turn into layoffs.

“We’re not going to be able to get everybody back to business and doing what we would like to see, even if it’s half of what we were doing before until we get the virus under control,” said Stewart.

On Thursday, the Governor and US Labor Secretary made it clear that opening schools this fall isn’t just about learning gaps, but unemployment as well.

“We can’t just leave society sitting on the mat,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia hopes opening schools will give people a place to send their kids so they can go back to work.

“If we don’t get our schools open, it will be that much harder for working adult women who are facing a higher unemployment rate to get back to work,” said Scalia.

And many will exhaust all of their unemployment benefits at the end of July, raising the question, what’s next?

Unless Congress acts before the end of July, unemployment benefits will run out for thousands of Floridians.

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