Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

MGN Online

Despite a predicted slow down during the cooler winter season, the Zika virus continues plaguing Florida.

floridajobs.org/unique-abilities-partner-program

The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program is officially up and running. One of the initiative’s goals is to reduce the unemployment rate among people who have disabilities.

Department of Economic Opportunity Chief Cissy Proctor
State of Florida

Florida’s unemployment rate is beating the national one.  But the state had a slow month in job creation.

Nick Evans

The Department of Economic Opportunity is awarding grants across the state to help municipal governments.  State officials are hoping the funds will prime the pump for local economies.

Department of Economic Opportunity Chief Cissy Proctor
State of Florida

Florida Governor Rick Scott is tapping Cissy Proctor to lead the Department of Economic Opportunity. 

MGN Online

A statewide two-day summit in Tampa to combat human trafficking is now over. And, while stakeholders agree Florida has come a long way in making people more aware of the issue, they say there’s still much work to do to address the practice.

Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott was sworn in for his second term Tuesday on the old steps of the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. After the swearing in of the Cabinet members and his Lieutenant Governor, Governor Scott took his oath of office for the second time.

Throughout his Inaugural address, Scott touched on education and the environment. But, at the center of his speech was the cornerstone of both of his gubernatorial campaigns: jobs.

Numbers released Friday show Florida added more jobs than any other state in June. Gov. Rick Scott announced the creation of 36,900 private-sector jobs last month. The statewide unemployment rate dipped to 6.2 percent, down a tenth of a percent from May.

But for the first time since last spring, Florida’s unemployment rate is higher than the national rate. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio says it’s important to look at the bigger picture.

LHatter / WFSUNews

A former employee of the Florida agency that handles unemployment benefits has won a whistle-blower lawsuit against the state.

Diane Parcell was working at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in 2012 when she came across an enigma: A woman who had declared bankruptcy had been sent to a collection agency for unemployment compensation overpayments—even though her bankruptcy made her ineligible for collection.

Florida Senate

Is Florida doing all it can to help unemployed people get back to work? Not everyone thinks so. At least one lawmaker says a skills assessment citizens are required to take before collecting benefits is doing more harm than good.

Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) says she’s worried people applying for reemployment assistance might find the state’s test so frustrating they’d quit midway through or maybe never take the test at all.

“Are we spending millions to help people? Or are we spending millions just to annoy unemployed people,” Detert says.

Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped for the month of January to 7.8-percent. That’s makes it lower than the national rate for the first time in five years. And Department of Economic Opportunity Director Jessie Panuccio said the new numbers indicate a positive trend.

“It continues a trend that we’ve seen over the last two years for Florida’s economy. It continues to grow. We’ve also had good news on the jobs numbers. Since 2010, Florida’s economy has added over 282,000 jobs. We’ve had job growth for 30 consecutive months,” Panuccio said.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott appointed his top lawyer to head the Florida agency that oversees unemployment compensation and economic development.
 
Scott on Thursday named Jesse Panuccio, the governor's general counsel, to the post following the sudden resignation of Hunting Deutsch amid questions about jobless benefits he had received before he was hired about eight months ago.
 
Scott also appointed outgoing State Attorney Peter Antonacci of West Palm Beach to replace Panuccio as his general counsel.
 

Governor Rick Scott will have to find another Jobs Czar for the third time in less than a year, after Hunting Deutsch abruptly resigned his $140,000 job running the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Deutsch, a former banking executive, drew controversy recently following revelations in the Florida Current that he had collected state unemployment benefits between 2009 and 2011. He was in Europe part of that time.