The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has ended its contracts with two companies that provide customer service employees to take calls.
The department terminated its contracts with AECOM and UDT, officials confirmed to NBC 6 on Thursday.
"As the Department works to continue to improve the customer service provided to claimants during this unprecedented time, the Department is prioritizing vendors who have fully trained representatives to handle all claimant issues and are more proficient in the CONNECT system, are meeting or exceeding contractual performance expectations and providing high quality customer service to Floridians," a DEO spokesperson said.
"Vendors who are not providing as high quality services will not continue to provide services at this time."
Florida’s jobless claims last week nearly doubled to more than 129,000 new applicants compared to the prior week, according to federal figures released Thursday.
The jump came after state officials placed restrictions on the onsite consumption of alcohol in Florida bars in response to a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.
“Everything that has been happening in the economy in this cycle has been driven by public health measures,” said Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida.
Unemployed Floridians have filed more than 2.8 million unique jobless claims since mid-March, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
As of Wednesday, more than 1.7 million Floridians have been paid more than $10 billion in unemployment claims.
"DEO continues to fund more than 3,000 customer service representatives who are available during customer service hours to assist Floridians with their Reemployment Assistance claims," the DEO spokesperson said.
"The Department will continue to monitor resource demands and needs to ensure service levels for Floridians will continue to improve."