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Federal Lost Wages Benefit Program Will Boost Florida's Economy- But Not For Long

File photo: Medical technician writes down patient information during COVID-19 testing. Photo: U.S. Air Force
86th Airlift Wing/Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Maxime Copley, 86th Medical Group independent duty medical technician, writes down patient information in the Ramstein Medical Clinic’s COVID-19 screening drive-thru at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March 31, 2020. The 86th MDG transformed their main parking area to expedite testing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater)

More than 30 states have applied for the federal lost wages assistance program- and last week Florida joined that list. 

The program will provide an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits, but as Sean Snaith,  director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting told 90.7's Talia Blake, the program will not last long. 

“The total amount, I think, is approximately 45 billion dollars, and so that’s not likely to last really much beyond September, although the benefits will be retroactive back to the start of August. But once we get through September, then this executive order is going to be depleted," said Snaith.

Snaith said how quickly Florida’s economy recovers depends on how soon the coronavirus is under control. 

“It’s going to depend on the science: how quickly can we get the therapeutics and vaccines in place that will ultimately render COVID-19 a non issue," said Snaith.

"Once that happens, tourism in particular should be poised for a pretty rapid recovery.”

After a brief stint as Morning Edition Producer at The Public’s Radio in in Rhode Island, Talia Blake returned to WMFE, the station that grew her love for public radio. She graduated with a double-major in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!). While at UCF, she was an intern for WMFE’s public affairs show, Intersection. In her spare time, Talia is an avid foodie and enjoys working out.
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