Florida unemployment skyrockets

During the nine weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic Idaho has received 136,901 initial unemployment...
During the nine weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic Idaho has received 136,901 initial unemployment claims, which is 2.3 times the total number of initial claims filed in 2019. (Source: Pixabay)(KMVT)
Published: May. 22, 2020 at 5:55 PM CDT
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Florida’s unemployment is now officially 12.9 percent for April, slightly lower than the national average. Nearly 100 people who sought unemployment benefits are monitoring their credit after sensitive information was left unprotected.

Florida lost 893,000 jobs in April and a total of 989,600 since the first of the year. That’s lower than the number of people who have applied for unemployment.

Thursday’s numbers show just over a million eligible claims have been processed, while 366,000 have been denied.

"We knew it would be significant,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

In Jacksonville, the Governor told reporters the number would likely have been higher if he had a heavier touch closing the state.

“And one of the reasons why I wanted to do a safe, smart, step by step approach to recovery is that if we can can get people back to work. Get some confidence back in the communities, you’ll start to see, hopefully, a lot of these jobs be recovered,” said DeSantis.

The highest unemployment in the state is in the Orlando area.

“Just look at the theme parks,” said DeSantis.

The numbers were released a day after we learned 98 Floridians got a letter telling them their names and Social Security numbers were inadvertently sent to an unsecured server.

No banking information was released.

And it is not the first time data has been compromised.

On November 5, 2013, as the current system was launching, we reported the first data breach.

“Something in the computer system was encoded incorrectly and resulted in an inadvertent disclosure,” said former DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio at the time.

As it did in 2013, the state is paying for a year’s worth of credit monitoring and data protection.

What we don’t know is if there have been more disclosures. We’ve asked for the information and have not gotten a response.