Local unemployment rate remain high

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BAY COUNTY, Fla, (WMBB) — After weeks of struggle some locals say they have seen some improvements in Florida’s unemployment system.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment rates within Bay County has gone up to 12.8% just this year.

Massive layoffs have left local residents with no other option than to file for unemployment claims, which has proved to be easier said than done.

The Connect system necessary for Career Source was weighed down due to the overwhelming applications coming in.

“It has taken me three months to get no help from anybody in any direction,” said Lindsay Sheply, a Bay County resident.

Sheply had worked in the restaurant business but she has been attempting to fill out unemployment claims since May. But June 5th she was finally able to file her application.

“So without any income that you know was going to help you through this, you have to make up for that. And for me that was going to be close to impossible,” Sheply said.

Sheply is not alone.

Many filing for reemployment assistance online were experiencing issues due to the connect system being overwhelmed.

“We have seen that that has not been as big of an issue as it was before. 6-8 weeks later people are starting to get their benefits. But they will also be getting that back pay for the weeks that are due for the amount of time it took for their applications processed,” Brittany Rock the Director of communications at Career Source Gulf Coast said

Rock says they have seen a decline in clients coming in due to the application systems improving.

“That doesn’t mean that the need is not there,” Rock said. “Don’t stop, reach out for help.”

If you are still experiencing issues processing your reemployment assistance applications online,

Career Source is now accepting in person and virtual appointments for clients.

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