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Unemployment 11.5 percent

December 18th, 2009 by flanews

Florida now has more unemployed people than eight US states have citizens. More than a million Floridians are looking for work. As Whitney Ray tells us, 16-thousand Floridians were laid off just before Thanksgiving.

Instead of a Christmas bonus, Matt Durkin received a pink slip. Matt was working construction, the hardest hit sector in Florida.

Companies have just decided to lay people off as opposed to cutting back your hours, they just lay you off and everybody knows this is a bad time of the year to be out of a job, said Durkin.

Matt is now one of more than a million Floridians out of work. The states jobless rate is 11.5 percent up point three percent from a month ago. Add in the people whove stopped the job hunt or settled into a part-time position and the rate skyrockets.

Add 7.2 percentage points to the unemployment rate, which would make it 18.7, said Rebecca Rust, AWI Chief Economists.

Floridas unemployment rate rose, while the national average fell, signaling a tougher turnaround for the Sunshine state.

An estimated 250-thousand Floridians that have run out of unemployment pay are eligible for extended benefits, but thousands havent begun the application process.

The state sent letters to eligible candidates. They are asking those who think they may be entitled to extended benefits to contact the Agency for Workforce Innovation.

They can go online, check your eligibility, fill out the application and get the application to us as quickly as possible, said Robby Cunningham, AWI Spokesman.

Economists say the states job market will begin to turn around in April, but add the recovery will take years. People who think they are eligible for the 13 week extension can go to www.floridajobs.org and click on the EUC button on the right hand side of the screen.

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