Unemployed will once again have to prove they’re looking for work in Florida

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 4:14 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Unemployment recipients in Florida will soon once again have to show they’re actually looking for work if they hope to continue collecting checks.

The Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the state’s reemployment program, says there are plenty of employers looking to hire.

Altrua Global Solutions, a printing company in the state’s capital city, usually prints ads and promotional material for businesses. Now they’re primarily printing help wanted signs. They’re even having a hard time finding employees to do the work.

“A lot of people, they’ll come in and interview, but then we might hire them and they don’t show up for the job,” Altrua President Skip Smelko said.

It’s become a common sight across the state, ‘Closed Due to Pandemic Signs’ replaced by ‘Now Hiring’ signs

“The 2021 pandemic is unemployment. Not being able to hire,” DEO Secretary Dane Eagle said.

Eagle announced Wednesday the state will soon reimplement work search requirements for those collecting unemployment.

“The goal here is to help everyone find employment. There is hope on the horizon. 400,000 jobs are out there,” Eagle said.

The state is hoping the announcement will send a message to unemployed Floridians to start looking for a job now before benefits run out entirely.

“I don’t want them to wake up Monday morning and realize unemployment is not available and they also don’t have a job,” Eagle said.

The state is hoping to help Floridians in that process, requiring new benefit recipients to sign up with Employ Florida, which will link them with businesses looking for workers.

“The network is here to help Florida businesses, large and small, connect with the hundreds of thousands of Floridians we know want to get back to work,” President & CEO of Career Source Florida Michelle Dennard said.

Those who are currently collecting checks won’t be required to register with Employ Florida, but both new and current recipients will have to prove they’re looking for work to receive benefits after May 29th.

Secretary Eagle also said the state doesn’t currently plan to opt-out of the additional $300-a-week federal unemployment benefits program before it expires in September, but going forward he said the option remains on the table.

If you need help looking for a job you can sign up at or at to get connected with employers.

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