Masked woman outside of an unemployment office with a "now hiring" sign.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

A new analysis from the left-leaning Florida Policy Institute finds that during the coronavirus pandemic, Black and Latino workers in Florida were more likely than white workers to be denied unemployment benefits. 

Jacksonville Hiring Summer Lifeguards

Apr 6, 2021
Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

The city of Jacksonville is looking for certified lifeguards 15-years-old and up to work at city swimming pools this summer.

TALLAHASSEE --- A plan to revamp Florida’s much-criticized online unemployment system is now moving on both sides of the Capitol, while advocates for workers continue to push lawmakers to consider increasing jobless benefits.

With few questions and little comment, the House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee on Thursday unanimously backed a proposal (HB 1463) that would overhaul the less-than-decade-old CONNECT unemployment system and move to a cloud-based system.

News Service of Florida

Florida’s unemployment payments, among the lowest in the nation, would increase by up to $100 a week under a measure approved by a Senate committee.

Facing a budget shortfall of about $100 million, Hillsborough County Schools on Thursday discussed plans to eliminate more than a thousand jobs, or 7% of the staff.

The good news — officials say — is the proposed cut of 1,083 staff for the 2021-22 school year is about half what the Hillsborough County School Board anticipated back in January.

But Superintendent Addison Davis said these cuts won't be easy. And class sizes are likely to increase.

Florida's latest jobs report shows that the unemployment rate is decreasing and ranks below the national average.

While the state's biggest industry — tourism — is still hurting, Florida's economy has gained in one sector: blue-collar jobs like warehousing, delivery services, and home construction.

A view of Downtown Jacksonville from Friendship Fountain.

Despite the leisure and hospitality industry still struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, Florida’s unemployment rate continues to improve as vaccinations increase and people return to the workforce.

Florida Jobless Numbers Down With Stimulus On The Way

Mar 11, 2021

Florida continues to see a slowing of first-time unemployment claims, with applications last week the lowest since the coronavirus pandemic started a year ago and as more federal stimulus money is poised to flow to the state.

TALLAHASSEE --- More than $73 million is needed over the next two years to revamp Florida’s much- criticized unemployment system, which was overwhelmed in the initial weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the state’s unemployment agency said Monday.

Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Dane Eagle told members of the Senate Select Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and Response that retaining the current system is “not an option.”

Florida Jobless Claims Plummet As Travel Concerns Remain

Feb 11, 2021
Envelopes from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Reemployment Assistance Program are shown.

Florida has posted its lowest weekly total of first-time unemployment claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, despite mounting issues confronting the travel industry.

TALLAHASSEE --- With first-time unemployment claims spiking last week, a top Florida economist is cautioning that the vital, but battered, tourism industry is in for another difficult spring because of COVID-19.

Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research, told lawmakers Wednesday that despite improved tax-revenue numbers for December, big-spending foreign tourists aren’t expected to flock to Florida in the coming months because of the pandemic.

State Retirement System Could See Major Change

Jan 22, 2021
News Service of Florida

In a potentially major change to the Florida Retirement System, a Senate Republican on Thursday proposed a bill that would require new state employees to enroll in a 401(k)-style plan.

Jacksonville Daily Record

TIAA has informed the state it is laying off 59 employees in Jacksonville.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Questions remain about when extended unemployment benefits from a newly signed federal stimulus package will be available for Floridians out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data from the Census Bureau paint a grim picture of the pandemic’s impact on the economy. According to the bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, 26% of Floridians reported being late on rent, worse than the US average, while 12% reported not having enough to eat.

Economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind, of Fishkind Litigation Services, tells WMFE the pandemic is affecting some people far worse than others.

Downtown Jacksonville

Florida’s unemployment rate held steady in November, as businesses did not boost seasonal hiring as much as usual amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida Jobless Claims Down Last Week

Dec 18, 2020

TALLAHASSEE --- First-time jobless claims dropped last week in Florida, as the state is set to issue a monthly report Friday that will detail unemployment data amid a rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated 21,780 new unemployment applications were filed in Florida during the week that ended Dec. 12, down 25 percent from a revised projection for the previous week.

The estimates also showed Florida jobless claims down slightly from mid-November and down significantly from mid-October.

Democrats increased criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic Thursday, as first-time unemployment claims in Florida were up last week from the holiday-shortened previous week.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimated 25,012 initial jobless claims were submitted in Florida during the week that ended Dec. 5, up from 23,063 claims during the previous week, which included Thanksgiving.


Effects of the coronavirus pandemic on state tourism decreased in October, but recovery for Florida’s vital revenue-generating industry is still at best a year away, according to an association study released Monday.

1a Auto is bringing its Southeast US distribution operations to Jacksonville.

1A Auto, an online aftermarket auto parts retailer, has selected Jacksonville as the site for its Southeast U.S. distribution operations.

U.S. Army veteran and program participant Ryan McGrath (left) gives a tour of the IFAS Gulf Coast Research And Education Center.
Veterans Florida

A Veterans Florida program is getting a $745,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to give veterans experience planning, planting and harvesting.

Over three years, the USDA grant will pay for intense six-month-long fellowships in Florida for about 30 military veterans transitioning to civilian life.

Joe Marino is with Veterans Florida and says the vets may work on a ranch or citrus research farm.  He says many are looking for purpose-driven work in their community. 

Photo of a now hiring sign
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped in October, reflecting the state’s continued push to reopen businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gold LEED plaque at the Hillsboro Civic Center.
M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

A new report shows energy efficiency jobs were growing locally and nationwide when the coronavirus pandemic hit, before declining during the ensuing economic crisis, but the industry is struggling to recover as quickly as the rest of the economy.

Sara D. Davis / AP Images for U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

At least 29 employers have signed up to take part in a virtual Jacksonville job air for transitioning military personnel, veterans, National Guard members, Reserve members and military spouses this Thursday, Nov. 19.

Lockheed Martin file photo

The end of the year will mark the loss of 90 Lockheed Martin jobs at the Cecil Commerce Center on Jacksonville’s Westside.

Jacksonville Daily Record’s 10th area facility is in review at AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center at a construction cost of $40.4 million.

FSCJ's Deerwood Center
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Florida State College at Jacksonville’s fall career fair is going virtual this month.


First-time unemployment claims jumped last week in Florida, as a growing number of major entertainment and travel-related businesses cut hours and lay off employees.

Employees of Florida’s jobs agency who have been working at home will soon have to be back in the office, but there is no word on when other departments will follow suit or when state buildings will fully reopen to the public.

A week after Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted COVID-19 business restrictions, Department of Economic Opportunity employees who have been able to work remotely during the pandemic have been told they will need to transition back into the office, starting Monday.

Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

After it started reopening theatres in August, the parent company of Regal Theatres announced Monday all 536 of its U.S. theatres – including the ones in Jacksonville  –  are closing again, effective Thursday, Oct. 8.