Jobs and Unemployment (2009)Jobs and Unemployment Facts (2009):
- 97,000 Broward County Jobs were lost in 2008
- In 2009, over 54,000 people in Broward County were unemployed
- In 2009, Broward County’s unemployment rate was 8.3%
- There were 30 census tracks in Broward County with unemployment rates in double digits (greater than 10.0%) – some areas have unemployment rates as high as 17.2%
The Problem: (2009):
People are having difficulties receiving their unemployment benefits
- In 2009, Broward County was experiencing high level of unemployment.
- The only way to file for unemployment benefits was via the telephone or online (there is no place in Broward County where you can talk face to face with some one)
- Due to the increase in people filing for unemployment, it was often difficult to get through
- If you did not have a computer or telephone you can go to one of the three Work Force One stations to use their computers and phone to file for unemployment
- About 2,700 people go to one of the three Work Force One Stations every week – about 30% (900) of them are there for services related to unemployment
- If you made an error – like misspelling your street address – a “flag” was placed on your account and your benefits are discontinued until the problem is fixed.
- Work Force One staff did not have the ability to correct it – you must call Tallahassee – which results in delays in benefits
- Due to the massive increase in unemployment, when people called Tallahassee they waited on hold for hours before being able to speak with a person, and sometimes they do not get through at all.
- Work Force One employees could be granted the ability to fix these “flags” and restore benefits. In order for that needs to happen, the director of Work Force One (Mason Jackson) needed to call Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation and request it.
- There was no cost for this service
- Obtained a commitment from Work Force 1 to train an employee for each of their 3 locations to correct these flags – streamlining the unemployment process.
- The employees received training in Mid May 2009 and began providing this service
- They served around 900 individuals a week