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Unemployment Hits 35 Year High

March 10th, 2010 by flanews

Floridas unemployment rate is the highest its been since 1975. The rate rose to 11.9 percent today, with more than 1,100,000 people looking for jobs. As Whitney Ray tells us, the news comes as the governor is touring the state praising a legislative freeze on the unemployment tax hike.

Januarys unemployment rate ties a 35 year high. Never before have 1.1 million Floridians been out of work. But the jobless numbers could have been higher If governor Charlie Crist hadnt signed legislation freezing an unemployment tax hike. Wednesday he celebrated the freeze.

This would have had a horrendous negative impact on businesses throughout the state, said Crist.

The tax would have increased from eight dollars an employee to more than 100. Now it will go up to just 25 bucks. Cynthia Lorenzo, the Director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, says many business owners planned to layoff employees to pay the tax.

As a result of this legislation 15-thousand jobs will be saved. Bolstering business and saving jobs is exactly what we need to be doing.

But efforts havent stopped the states job crisis. The state is out of money to pay jobseekers, and while the increase is being delayed the state will borrow more than 2 billion dollars from the federal government to pay unemployment claims.

Its a loan businesses will have to pay back when the freeze ends.

I think well worry about that two years from now, what we have to worry about currently is what happens to the people today, said

The tax delay is expected to save businesses a billion dollars over the next two years. Lawmakers hope the savings will be spent creating more jobs.

There is some good news to report on the job market tonight. The federal government is sending 200 million dollars to the state. The money will be given to businesses who hire Floridians living way below the poverty level. Its expected to create 25-thousand jobs by years end.

Posted in Business, Charlie Crist, State News, Taxes, Unemployment | No Comments »

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