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Florida Tied for Last in Paying Unemployment Benefits

Luigi Valdivieso, left, talks about job opportunities to Richard Solano at a job fair in Miami Lakes, on July 15, 2015. A new report says Florida is one of the worst state’s in the nation when it comes to paying unemployment benefits. (Alan Diaz/AP Photo)
Luigi Valdivieso, left, talks about job opportunities to Richard Solano at a job fair in Miami Lakes, on July 15, 2015. A new report says Florida is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to paying unemployment benefits. (Alan Diaz/AP Photo)

Most out-of-work Floridians will never see a jobless benefits check from the state.

In fact, a report this week from the National Employment Law Project, a nonpartisan research group, puts the Sunshine State at the bottom of the nation, tied with South Carolina, in the percentage of unemployed people who actually receive state unemployment insurance.

From June 2014 to June 2015, just one in eight unemployed people in Florida received benefits, the report says. It appears to be a new low. Just six years ago, at the height of the recession, more than 30 percent of those out of work received weekly payments.

Critics blame the state for making it harder for unemployed to qualify for benefits.

The number of Floridians on unemployment insurance has fallen dramatically in recent years in tandem with new requirements from the state. Adding to the problem: A new online system meant to streamline unemployment claims was plagued with glitches.

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