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Fla jobless rate highest in 33 years

by Dara Kam | March 27th, 2009

Florida’s seasonably adjusted unemployment rate was 9.4 percent in February, up from 8.8 percent in January, according to the Agency for Workforce Innovation.

That’s 1.3 percent higher than the national rate and 4.2 percent higher than a year ago.

About 500,000 Floridians currently receive unemployment benefits.

St. Lucie County’s unemployment rate climbed to 12.7 percent, nearly double from the previous year.

Read more here.

GOP state lawmakers are at odds over whether to accept $444 million in federal stimulus funds that would expand the number of unemployed workers eligible for unemployment benefits.

House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Delray Beach worries that expanding the benefits will increase unemployment insurance taxes on businesses, whose taxes will already spike next year because so many workers have been laid off.

The trust fund supported by the taxes that the businesses pay is scheduled to run out of money by August, forcing the taxes to go up.

Senate Republicans and Gov. Charlie Crist want to take the money, which would extend benefits to at least 25,000 more workers.

Crist yesterday encouraged the House to reconsider they’re position.

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One Response to “Fla jobless rate highest in 33 years”

  1. Arlene Says:

    Florida went Republican for a few elections. When the going gets tough for us unemployed the good little Republican business arse kissers do what they do best.

    Line their pockets, screw the average American, and cater to big business. Adam Hasner, the House Majority Leader is the person who is leading the charge against accepting the billions in stimulus because it will hurt Florida businesses.

    Another Jindal right here in FL

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