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Unemployment on the rise in Florida due to COVID-19

More than 130,000 Floridians filed for unemployment assistance this week. That’s up from just 6,400 two weeks ago.

Many of you have been writing in frustrated and afraid because the website and phone lines keep crashing.

For Susan Ronowski in Fort Myers, she claims she’s called more than 200 times in the last two days and can’t get through.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says they’re operating better every day but asking for patience.

“It’s a waiting game and I’m just frustrated,” she said. “And to me, the reason I’m so frustrated is that the governor has access to change some of these rules.”

“Since we started seeing this heavy increase in volume we are currently hiring more than 100 people,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Director of Communications, Tiffany Vause. “We are getting those people on staff so we can help more Floridians. In addition, we’re bringing a private call center on to our staff so they can also help get folks into the system and get the reappointment assistance claims filed.”

The Department of Economic Opportunity recommends trying to call as early as possible and to keep trying while they continue to work through the issues.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Briana Harvath
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