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2020欧洲杯正规平台TALLAHASSEE – March’s unemployment rate climbed to 4.3% in Florida, according to data released Friday that accounts only for the opening days of the economic carnage caused by the coronavirus.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order closing bars was issued March 17, followed three days later with an end to in-restaurant dining, triggering the first round of mass layoffs included in the month’s figures.

But a statewide stay-at-home order was not signed by DeSantis until April 1, meaning many more thousands of job losses and furloughs remain uncounted in the March report by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

2020欧洲杯正规平台A month earlier, Florida’s unemployment rate was 2.8%.

2020欧洲杯正规平台“We are now in an economic crisis,” DeSantis said Friday, during an appearance in Fort Lauderdale. “It’s thrown a lot of Floridians out of work, through no fault of their own.”

More: Coronavirus and jobs: Leon County, Big Bend region sees surge in unemployment claims

2020欧洲杯正规平台The Republican governor has been besieged on social media by Floridians frustrated at being unable to apply for benefits using DEO’s glitch-ridden online CONNECT site. After saying little about the problems facing those suddenly left jobless during the first three weeks of the crisis, DeSantis has lately thrown manpower and increased computer capacity at DEO, although complaints remain.

The March unemployment rate was 4.4% nationally, but the U.S. Labor Department says that more than 22 million people have filed for unemployment since President Donald Trump declared an emergency March 13 because of the coronavirus.

Some analysts put the April unemployment rate at more than 15% in the U.S.

2020欧洲杯正规平台DeSantis on Friday said that the state had issued 100,000 unemployment checks this week, up from 35,000 the previous week. Still, more than 650,000 Floridians have filed for benefits since DeSantis’s March 17 order – with many thousands more still attempting to submit an application.

2020欧洲杯正规平台Walt Disney World is poised to furlough most of its 77,000 employees on Sunday, with other Central Florida theme parks also having laid-off workers, adding to the toll. Florida’s $275-per-week maximum unemployment payments are among the lowest in the nation.

More: Coronavirus Florida: Unemployment numbers hide full story of frustration

DeSantis has refused repeated calls from Democrats and labor groups to increase the payments. Instead, the Republican governor Friday continued to highlight efforts he has taken to ease the backlog at DEO, including having as many as 2,000 state employees ready to help field phone calls from jobless applicants.

DeSantis already has approved as much as $109 million in new contracts with three call centers to help staff the CONNECT system. According to provisions in one of the contracts, DEO had been only answering 2% of its calls, and wait-times averaged more than 6.5 hours.

DeSantis also has waived requirements that those drawing benefits search for a job, lifted a one-week waiting period before payments can kick-in, and this week eliminated the need for recertifying a claim every two weeks, which he said only put more demand on the overburdened system.

“It is our top economic priority,” DeSantis said Friday. “The process has gotten better (but) there is still more work to do.”

More: DeSantis takes steps to fix overwhelmed unemployment compensation system

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