DeSantis unemployment bonus phaseout boosted Florida economy, study claims


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DeSantis’ policy helped ‘accelerate Florida’s economic recovery and grow the state at a faster pace,’ the authors claim.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the Sunshine State coffers and the economy a strong boost by early ending additional federal unemployment benefits, a new study finds.

“Today, there is more job creation, more economic activity, and less unemployment, thanks to the government’s economic leadership. Notably, the governor’s decision to end the $300 weekly unemployment bonus helped accelerate Florida’s economic recovery and help the state. Overdrive,” wrote Hayden Dublois and Jonathan Ingram in a study Foundation for Government Accountability.


While Florida’s work-first policies, lower taxes, limited regulations and support for entrepreneurs put the state in a better position to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, the study authors noted that nationwide labor shortages also affected Florida. did. In March 2021, Florida employers had nearly 500,000 open jobs, even though Floridians were at unemployment three times higher than pre-pandemic levels.

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After then-President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act into law, federal unemployment insurance paid out $300 per week on top of weekly state unemployment payments. Employers complain That former employees were refusing to return to work because they earned more money on unemployment than they did on the job. JPMorgan Chase Estimated that 48% of benefit recipients earned equal to or more than their previous salary.

Yet DeSantis withdrew those additional benefits starting in June, more than two months before the benefits were to end nationally on Labor Day.

“We look forward to continuing to support Floridians as they return to work, find good jobs and provide for their families.” — DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pusa told Granthshala Business

This early phase-out saved Florida’s state government millions in unemployment claims, the FGA study found. In late May, Florida sent out more than $400 million in unemployment benefits each week, but by the end of August, that number had dropped by 86%, Dubois and Ingraham reported. They calculated data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which reported spending just $60 million per week as of the end of August.

When DeSantis announced the initial phase-out of the federal unemployment bonus, work search activity increased by more than 40%. Between the end of May, when DeSantis announced the phase-out, and the end of August, Florida employers hired nearly 1.3 million new employees, about 400,000 new employees in the first three weeks following the unemployment bonus elimination. were recorded.

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Entrepreneurs created nearly 150,000 new businesses since the unemployment bonus ended, and the authors found that “more businesses have been created in Florida than in any other state in America.” Since the bonus expires, business creation in Florida has increased nearly 70% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

A DeSantis spokesman emphasized Florida’s economic performance compared to other states.

“The labor market reform that President Biden has promised has not turned up,” Christina Pusa, press secretary for the governor’s executive office, told Granthshala Business in a statement. “Despite disappointing national trends, Governor DeSantis’ policies continue to support job growth in Florida, and our economy continues to flourish. Thousands of people from different states move to Florida each month in search of opportunities and better lifestyles ”

She also noted that while FLDEO announced that federal unemployment benefits would expire on June 27, Florida continued to operate additional federal reemployment assistance programs, which all ended on September 6.

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According to FLDEO’s latest report, released on September 17 and covering the month of August, Florida experienced: 16 consecutive months of job growth, 13 consecutive months of unemployment below the national average, labor force growth of 65,000 in August and 373,000 since April , a 2.9% reduction in the unemployment rate from 2020, and the gain of nearly 1 million private sector jobs since the start of the pandemic.

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