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State Boasts Healthy Unemployment Fund

November 20th, 2008 by flanews

New unemployment numbers are due out tomorrow and right now Floridas unemployment rate is well above the national average at 6.6 percent. The state has already paid a billion dollars in unemployment benefits and as Whitney Ray tells us, the unemployed are worried about the states ability to continue to pay claims.

Hear it Here: State Boosts Healthy Unemployment Fund

Clayton Watts was laid off from his construction job last month. Hes waiting on an unemployment check he says the state promised to send a week ago.

Theyre going to turn my electricity off. My rent is due. Im out of gas. Its hard to find any work. Its tough, said Clayton.

Claytons not alone. Floridas unemployment rate is well above the national average. The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation has paid about a million unemployment claims since January. The agencys director Monesia Brown said her office has been working overtime to keep up with the need.

Weve seen almost a 150 percent increase in claims this over last year at the same time. Weve paid out over a billion dollars in benefits this year, said Brown.

Despite the huge payout, Brown said the states unemployment insurance fund is still healthy with more 1.6 billion dollars available. The states Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is financed though an unemployment tax on businesses.

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