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Floridians continue to struggle despite dropping unemployment rate

Many see this as the unemployment crisis is almost fixed, but we’re not being told how many of those jobs are part time.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.4% in August, compared to its 13.8% in April.

Many see this as the unemployment crisis is almost fixed, but we’re not being told how many of those jobs are part time.

“The numbers coming from DEO are important,” said State Representative Anna Eskamani. “But we have to put them in perspective of quality of life indicators as well.”

Eskamani said the dropping unemployment rate looks great, but that doesn’t mean families are suffering any less.

“If someone’s income has dramatically changed because they took a new job at Publix or a new job at McDonalds, compared to where they used to work, yes they are now employed,” Eskamani said. “Which is a good thing. But we have to remember their bills may have been reflective of a different income.”

That is exactly the case for Albalena Bejesus

“I was laid off in March,” Bejesus said. “I found a job, it was part time, but it was just until I could go back to work.”

Even with that part time job, bejesus could no longer afford her rent.

“It’s been difficult, said Leah Ploumis. “My hours have been cut.”

Ploumis is a personal trainer. She has a little bit of business now, but not nearly what she had before the pandemic.

“I’m trying to keep everything on bare bones right now, but it’s tough,” Ploumis said. “I have two kids.”

These two women are back to being considered employed and factor into the dropping unemployment rate, but are still not able to afford their previous way of life before the pandemic.

We are seeing a new wave of layoffs as well.

On Thursday, 30,000 airline employees were furlough as the Payroll Support Program under the CARES Act expired.

Despite being open, Disney has cut 28 thousand jobs.

FCN asked DEO for data showing how many people have returned to their original jobs and how many people are working part time. The department acknowledged receiving the message, but has yet to provide FCN with the data.

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