First-time unemployment claims in Florida dropped nearly 25 percent last week, as bars and craft breweries served drinks again and Gov. Ron DeSantis moved forward with the third phase of his coronavirus economic-recovery efforts.
However, tourism, travel and retail companies continue to advise the state they are shedding workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimated Florida had 29,360 first-time unemployment claims during the week that ended Sept. 26, down from 39,028 the prior week.
The state on Sept. 14 ended a more than 2 1/2-month prohibition on many bars and craft breweries selling alcohol for on-site consumption. DeSantis followed up Sept. 25 by moving into the third-phase of recovery efforts, including lifting restrictions on the numbers of people who can dine in restaurants.
“We did go to the formal Phase 3 the other day, but quite frankly we’ve been open pretty much the whole time, certainly in the last four months,” DeSantis told the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors on Wednesday. “And we’re going to continue to try to build the momentum that we’ve been able to regain. I think we’ve seen a lot of good things happening in the economy, people are still buying homes, they’re building homes. So, a lot of people want to come to Florida, probably more so than even before the pandemic in some respects.”
DeSantis added that while tourism has been “OK” in some parts of the state, “there’s other parts that it’s lagging.”