Florida's jobless claims are up slightly
Florida’s first-time unemployment claims last week were slightly higher than during the previous three weeks, but the pace of claims continues to be similar to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic hammered the economy in early 2020.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimated 4,704 first-time claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended March 19, up from a revised count of 3,910 in the week ending March 12.
Nationally, 187,000 claims were filed last week, the lowest number since the week of Sept. 6, 1969, when the total was 182,000.
Florida, where the January unemployment rate stood at 3.5 percent, has averaged 3,943 claims a week during the past four weeks. In January, the state had an estimated 364,000 people out of work from a labor force of 10.448 million.
The state Department of Economic Opportunity will issue a February unemployment report Friday.
In February 2020, before the pandemic caused businesses to shut down or scale back, Florida’s jobless rate stood at 2.8 percent, with an estimated 291,000 Floridians out of work from a labor force of 10.46 million.