COVID-19 has had a major impact on our nation in many different ways, but none more so than economically. It has left people nationwide without jobs or a source of income during this pandemic.
When the first COVID-19 case was detected in January, the nation’s unemployment rate was 3.6%. Since then and millions of cases later, the unemployment rate has increased tremendously with the highest unemployment rate being 14.7% in April.
Most recently the United States’ unemployment rate has fallen to 8.4% in August, which is a 1.8% decrease from July’s 10.2% as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s unemployment rate increased to 11.3 percent in July, which means there were a total of 1,125,00 jobless Floridians. This is a drastically high number for a labor force of 9,975,000.
Osceola and Orange counties lead the state with the highest unemployment rates. Osceola County has 20.2% and Orange County has 16.1%. Leon County has an unemployment rate of 8.5%.
The virus not only impacts those who have lost their jobs but people who are still working by being at risk of catching COVID-19, the increase of workers taking sick leave and the lack of hours due to new COVID-19 protocols and implementations.
Crystal Mays, who works at a local Target in Tallahassee, can attest to the risk of catching the virus while on the job.
“Every day I go to work I think about how grateful I am to still have a job but also I do get a little worried about catching COVID,” Mays said. “Especially being that I’m in a college town and knowing that everybody doesn’t follow the suggested guidelines, and everyone has to go to the grocery store, I just hope I stay safe.”
Victoria Evans, a student at Florida A&M University and cashier at Zaxby’s, discussed with The Famuan the affect COVID-19 has had on her work schedule.
“Before COVID, I used to work multiple days a week but since then with the closing of inside dinning and shorter store hours, I can barely get enough hours to make a decent paycheck,” she said.
While COVID-19 has had such a negative effect in the job industry, there have also been some positive actions and events taking place to battle the rise in unemployment.
Amazon announced in a press release on Sept. 9 that it will be hosting a virtual career day on Sept. 16 with 33,000 corporate and tech job openings. The pay for these jobs will be at least $15 per hour and will include competitive benefits. There has also been an increase in remote and telework job opportunities.
For more information on Amazon’s career day and other job opportunities go to www.Amazon.jobs.