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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: U.S. Dept. of Labor reports Florida ranked at very bottom in the percentage of the unemployed claims it processed

Image: State of FL DEO Screenshot,
Bill Johnson
Image: State of FL DEO Screenshot,

Congratulations, Florida. You’re the worst!

At getting unemployment aid to people who desperately need it, that is.

New data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows Florida ranked at the very bottom of all 50 states in the percentage of the unemployed claims it processed, serving just 1.1 percent of its workforce between mid-March until early April.

On Monday, the ironically named Department of Economic Opportunity released an online dashboard in an effort at transparency. The data is updated daily and shows the number of claims submitted, verified, processed and paid.

On Wednesday, more than 1.6 million claims had been submitted, and just over 94,000 residents had received checks. That means 86 percent of Florida residents who were laid off because of the pandemic still haven’t seen a single cent from the state.

This crisis can be laid on the doorstep of former governor Rick Scott, who essentially gutted the system in 2010. Now we’re seeing just how bad things can get when states don’t provide a bare minimum social safety net.

It’s another piece of Rick Scott’s legacy we have to live with until our elected officials are motivated to fix it.