Florida is expected to end its participation in the federal Lost Wages Assistance program, which provides $300-a-week in benefits on top of state benefits. Nothing else has been lined up to replace it.
Jobs & Unemployment
The Palm Coast City Council this week annexed the 4-acre shopping center known as Airport Commons, opposite Wawa, on State Road 100, in a big shift from threats to sue the county over disagreements about it two years ago.
The state’s latest number is down from an adjusted total of 45,590 first-time claims during the week that ended Aug. 29 and 51,647 claims during the week that ended Aug. 22.
After dropping sharply to 9.4 percent in June–down almost five points from the month before–Flagler County’s unemployment rate rose again, to 10.2 percent in July, a reflection of the coronavirus resurgence that began and June.
Flagler County Clerk of Court Tom Bexley said his office saw $600,000 in lost revenue, the reduction from 62 jobs to 54, including four actual layoffs, and uncertainties ahead, requiring a $250,000 emergency appropriation to stave off further cuts.
Because of this resurgence, many states are pausing plans to reopen and some are reimposing restrictions. But these restrictions are not the reason the economy is slowing. They are the necessary consequence of allowing the pandemic to get out of control.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month put out new symptom-based testing guidance that would reduce the quarantine time for people not showing symptoms while recovering from the virus.
The number of people holding jobs remains 12.9 million (or 8.4 percent) below February’s level. The current unemployment rate is 6.7 percentage points above that of February.
The number of unemployed fell from 6,100 in May to 4,371 in June in Flagler, pointing to a substantial rebound, though the surge in Covid-19 cases statewide and in Flagler since the June 5 Phase 2 reopening is casting doubt on the extent of the recovery.
As several counties in South Florida close their beaches over Independence Day weekend, Flagler Beach will keep its beaches open and make free shuttle buses available for visitors, to alleviate traffic and parking on the island.