A recent analysis suggests that Florida’s labor market drastically improved after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) opted the state out of enhanced federal unemployment payments.
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan — passed in March of this year — extended enhanced unemployment checks through the beginning of September. Arguing that they encouraged millions of workers to stay home rather than seeking a job, governors opted out of the federal program months before its automatic expiration.
“Normally when you’re getting unemployment, the whole idea is that it’s temporary, and you need to be looking for work to be able to get off unemployment,” DeSantis said in May. “I think it’s pretty clear now — we have an abundance of job openings.”
The Foundation for Government Accountability — a Florida-based think tank working to reform welfare initiatives — compiled data showing that DeSantis’ decision to remove his state from the enhanced handouts paid significant dividends.
For instance, hiring increased after the state left the program:
From late May — when Gov. DeSantis announced he was ending the $300 weekly unemployment bonus — through late August, Florida employers hired nearly 1.3 million new workers. Nearly 400,000 of these new hires were recorded in the first three weeks following the unemployment bonus’s elimination. As the bonus ended, employers’ hiring rates spiked, allowing them to fill needed open jobs. For the first time in months, the number of unfilled positions in Florida began to decline in August, as more Floridians left unemployment and returned to work.
Likewise, citizens launched tens of thousands of new businesses:
With Floridians off of unemployment rolls and back in the workforce, businesses can truly thrive, including new businesses. In fact, entrepreneurs created nearly 150,000 new businesses since the unemployment bonus ended — in no small part thanks to pro-entrepreneur initiatives passed in the most recent legislative session. More businesses are created in Florida than in any other state in America, with a new Florida start-up launched an average of every 46 seconds in 2021.
“This new project will create a dynamic environment to support our expanding business — a brand-new regional campus which will be built in the vibrant Lake Nona community of Orlando, Florida,” said Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro in a recent letter to staff members. “In addition to Florida’s business-friendly climate, this new regional campus gives us the opportunity to consolidate our teams and be more collaborative and impactful both from a creative and operational standpoint.”