TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida continues to see unemployment claims for the first time at a rate similar to before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state’s economy.
The US Department of Labor released a report Thursday that estimates 5,734 new unemployment claims were filed in Florida last week.
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That was down from a revised number of 5,925 claims in the week ending February 5 and lowered a four-week average of claims to 6,421.
The state has averaged 7,201 claims a week since mid-May, when Florida leaders stepped up efforts to get people back to work during the pandemic.
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The number of claims nationwide rose by 23,000 last week to 248,000. State and federal agencies mark March 15, 2020 as the start of the pandemic for unemployment purposes.
In the previous four weeks, Florida averaged 5,376 weekly claims. Unemployment figures released last month showed the state had recovered 92.1% of the 1.27 million jobs lost at the start of the pandemic.
Florida’s unemployment rate in December was 4.4%, which translates to about 466,000 Floridians qualifying as unemployed out of a labor force of 10.66 million. A January report will be released on March 14.
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