News Service of Florida

First-time unemployment claims in Florida dropped nearly 25 percent last week, as bars and craft breweries served drinks again and Gov. Ron DeSantis moved forward with the third phase of his coronavirus economic-recovery efforts.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order lifting coronavirus restrictions on businesses provides them with more freedom to operate at full capacity. But mask orders are still in place and some businesses will continue to balance fully opening with the need to protect employees and customers.

Those who serve people with health conditions that make COVID-19 more deadly know that to keep their businesses, they will have to gain trust.

At a SuperCuts in Oldsmar, store manager Marissa Segallos says a monthly visit to the salon is the only outing for some of her clients.

The Walt Disney Company's theme parks, resorts and cruises have been devastated by COVID-19. Tuesday Disney announced it is laying off 28,000 workers from its Parks, Experiences and Products division.

"Closed" sign
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Bright Horizons Early Education & Preschool has informed Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and the state that due to “natural disaster,” it is laying off 89 workers.

This file photo shows a portion of Naval Air Station Jacksonville with the Downtown skyline in the background.
Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Lynn Friant / U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons

Amentum, a federal contractor, has informed the state of Florida it may be forced to layoff 13 people who work at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in October as part of nationwide staff reductions.

Jacksonville Daily Record

Quiet 3PF, the renamed Quiet Logistics, said Sept. 21 it intends to open a Northwest Jacksonville fulfillment center in October and hire up to 300 full-time employees this year.


American Technical Ceramics has informed Mayor Lenny Curry and the state it expects to eliminate approximately 80 Jacksonville jobs in November.

Downtown Jacksonville
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The Jacksonville area’s employment picture is improving, although the rate is still higher than it was at this time last year.

Florida Blue CEO Sees Employees Working On 'Hybrid' Schedule

Sep 18, 2020
Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Geraghty said it is hard to say what the health insurer’s 100-acre Deerwood office campus will look like in the future, but he and his team are looking at creative ways to use the space.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Dane Eagle
News Service of Florida

Florida continues to see a steady decline in first-time unemployment claims, even as several large hospitality and entertainment companies have extended and imposed large-scale layoffs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The workers were originally notified of the furlough back in May, but in a letter to county and state leaders Universal Orlando said the furlough will extend at least 6 months.

Universal Orlando said it doesn’t expect the furloughs to be permanent but did warn it could take until next year to recover from the economic loss.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Saying goodbye to the dreaded commute – at least for a while – is leaving workers a lot of time to do their jobs, according to a new report.

Photo of UPS employees
Dylan Lovan / Associated Press file photo

UPS is gearing up for its annual holiday season hiring spree.

New Jobless Claims Drop In Florida

Sep 4, 2020

TALLAHASSEE --- First-time jobless claims dropped nearly 25 percent last week in Florida as Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to press forward with efforts to reopen the economy.

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated Florida received 39,335 first-time unemployment claims last week. That was down from a revised 51,647 the prior week, when Florida also saw a decrease.

Karen Brune Mathis / Jacksonville Daily Record

Jacksonville-Based Venus Fashion has informed the state it plans to permanently lay off approximately 120 employees.

Jacksonville Daily Record

Ulta Beauty Inc. said Aug. 27 it is accelerating the opening of its Northwest Jacksonville e-commerce center, but didn’t say when it would start operations other than it would be this year.

Mark Lennihan / April 2020 Associated Press File Photo

Amazon has announced it is expanding in Jacksonville, adding a sixth facility in the area that will create more than 500 new full-time jobs.

The "River Runner" bronze statues in front of The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel are pictured with face masks in this May 9 photo.

Back in June, Downtown Jacksonville’s biggest hotel announced it was shedding 200 workers – more than 100 of them described as permanent layoffs - because, the hotel said, a huge drop in travel appeared to be the “new normal.”

Florida’s request to tap into federal money to provide additional unemployment benefits has been approved, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said over the weekend.

The Lost Wages Assistance program is intended to provide $300 a week on top of regular state unemployment benefits for people who can show they were put out of work due to the coronavirus and are eligible for at least $100 a week in state assistance.

No timeline has been set for the money to reach qualified applicants.

Companies Announce Plans To Hire Hundreds In Jacksonville Area

Aug 31, 2020
woman holds a pizza in front of a Domino's pizza store
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Unemployment and lost wages during the pandemic have taken their toll on families, but at least three businesses have announced substantial hiring campaigns for the Jacksonville area.

Eric Gay / April 2020 Associated Press File Photo

Jacksonville got a jolt of bad economic news Friday.

Florida Sees Uptick In New Jobless Claims

Aug 20, 2020
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Florida saw a slight increase in first-time jobless claims last week, as the U.S. Department of Labor reported new unemployment applications nationally went back above 1 million during the same period.

APR Energy

Jacksonville-based APR Energy, which is a subsidiary of Atlas Corp., has informed the state it plans to permanently eliminate approximately 50 jobs in September.

Stein Mart's corporate headquarters on Jacksonville's Southbank.

Jacksonville-based Stein Mart has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying it “expects to close a significant portion, if not all, of its brick-and-mortar stores.”

Downtown Jacksonville skyline file photo.

With more Americans newly working from home due to COVID-19, Jacksonville is among the nation’s most attractive cities for remote workers, according to a ranking by Finance Buzz. 

Tourism in Florida has taken a big hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. The losses are especially bad in the cruise industry. 

Synergy Technologies To Add 300 Jobs In Jacksonville

Aug 5, 2020
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Synergy Technologies LLC, which was code-named project Skateboard, will add 300 jobs to its Jacksonville operation, according to an Aug. 4 JAXUSA Partnership news release.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

A collapse in demand for suits and other office attire is leading another storied retailer across the brink, with the parent company of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank filing for bankruptcy.

CSX CEO Calls 2nd Quarter 'Most Disruptive' He's Ever Experienced

Jul 23, 2020
CSX's Jacksonville headquarters

Freight traffic at CSX Corp. is picking up after COVID-19-related business shutdowns in the spring.

Photo of J.C. Penney store
ANNE D'INNOCENZIO / Associated Press

J.C. Penney has filed a notice with the state expanding on its earlier announcement that its Regency Square Mall store will be permanently closing.