U.S. unemployment rate falls to 8.4% even as hiring slows

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Since August, the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen from 10.2% to a steady-high 8.4% as hiring slowed down. 22 million jobs have been lost following the COVID-19 outbreak.

On Aug. 29, the number of new unemployment claims fell to 39,335 – the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 400,000 Floridians received benefits that week.

According to Sumter Item, Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial said, “when the reopening effect wears off, the overall job gains in the coming months should be considerably smaller.” 

Moody noticed that a large portion of the private sector job gains was in three classes: restaurants, retail, hotels, and medical services have profited from most states resuming their economy. 

The unemployment rate in Tallahassee currently sits at 7.3%. College students explain how their job search in Leon County has been an unfortunate journey. Students say it is tough to look for active work and being constantly turned around. 

Diamond Blake is a student at Florida State University who has been on the search for a job. 

“I have been looking for a job for over 2 months and have not been lucky,” Blake said. “Most employers say that if they were hiring, they would have to rehire those who were let go first before hiring new employees.”

On Sept. 4th, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced, less than 48 hours after they were set to resume the Florida unemployment work search requirements, that Florida will be suspending the requirements for another two months.

DeSantis denied having Florida participate in the enhanced unemployment benefits program offered by President Donald Trump. DeSantis says he has a plan that would be more viable than President Trump’s idea to allow the state to spend emergency pandemic and natural disaster funds to increase benefits by $400 per month.

Floridians will not need to comply with the state’s work-search quota until Dec. 5. With fewer requirements, DeSantis hopes that this would be an easier, beneficial route for candidates. It is expected that the candidates will have to report at least five new positions each week to stay in good standings to keep their benefits. 

Stephan Richards with Florida for All coalition said, “our communities were facing hardships such as low wages, lack of affordable health care, and systemic oppression before COVID-19, but the unemployment rate has not been this low in years! It is so important that everyone gets out and votes on November 3rd to make sure that an impactful plan is implemented to change this.”