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More Than 220K Floridians File For Unemployment As Jacksonville Area Layoffs Mount

Picture of men in Facemasks walking by closed sign
Nam Y. Huh
/
Associated Press
April 15, 2020 file photo

Another 221,905 Floridians filed unemployment claims last week.

That’s up from 174,860 the previous week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The number of Jacksonville businesses filing layoff notices with the state is also continuing to grow.

Among the latest local WARN notices filed:

The operators of Autobahn Indoor Speedway on the Southside announced a “mass layoff” of 62 people.  The owners told the state they expect the layoffs at the indoor go-kart racing entertainment facility to be temporary.

Jacksonville-based Gate Petroleum Company said it was permanently laying off two of its fuel purchasing clerks.

Check N’ Go of Florida, announced a total of four layoffs at three Jacksonville locations and one Orange Park location, in addition to other layoffs across the state. The playday loan and check cashing company said the layoffs are due to “unforeseen business decisions [that] occurred unexpectedly as a result of the coronavirus.”

The layoff notices are required by  the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which generally requires companies with 100 or more employees to give advance notice of layoffs so workers and families can prepare.

Related

The local numbers come as the nation has seen 36.5 million workers file for unemployment over the last eight weeks.
Last week alone, nearly 3 million people filed for unemployment.

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell painted a grim picture for the economy.

"The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II," he said. A Fed survey found that nearly 40% of workers in households making less than $40,000 a year had lost a job in March, Powell noted.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

The economy shrank 4.8% in the first quarter of 2020, but analysts are forecasting a double-digit drop in coming months.

- NPR's Avie Schneider contributed to this story

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.