Gov. DeSantis changes unemployment benefits amid growing job market

Sebastian restaurants looking for workers.
Sebastian restaurants looking for workers.

Starting June 1, 2021, Florida residents will be required to prove they are actively searching for a job to stay on unemployment. The requirement was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic because of a lack of job openings.

“I think it’s pretty clear now we have an abundance of job openings. If you go to businesses, they want to hire people. Particularly in hospitality, restaurants, and all these things,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. 

Restaurant owners in Florida have been struggling to find workers. More and more people are getting vaccinated and going out. It’s also been a problem in Sebastian.

“The hospitality industry is starving for employees. Our governor is doing the right things to get our state back to normal,” Tiki Bar & Grill owner Chris Pinson told Sebastian Daily.

Last week, Pinson said the workforce problem in Sebastian resulted from stimulus checks and overextended unemployment. He called it a universal problem all over the country with food establishments.

There is help wanted signs everywhere as Sebastian businesses need help to meet our growing demand. The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association also said continued unemployment benefits are keeping some from applying.

Many people on unemployment won’t apply for jobs because they claim the unemployment benefits are paying more than their previous job. 

However, most restaurant owners tell Sebastian Daily that menu prices will rise if there’s a wage increase.

Captain Hirams Resort recently offered a $200 signing bonus to attract applications.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and grew up living on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2002, he moved back to Florida and settled in Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.