Unemployment: Florida numbers on the rise again

Coronavirus Economic recession. Couple in self isolation over home finances during Covid-19 shutdown
Just over 2 million Floridians have filed claims.

Florida’s unemployment ranks grew by more than 221,000 people in the latest federal report, reversing a recent trend that had seen the weekly tallies shrinking.

During the week ending last Saturday, 221,905 Floridians filed new new unemployment claims over job losses related to the coronavirus economic crisis, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That’s a significant uptick from the adjusted total of 174,860 Floridians who had filed new unemployment claims in the prior week, though the latest weekly total is still down significantly from the peak of more than half a million new claims logged four weeks ago.

In the latest federal report, only residents in Georgia and Connecticut filed more new unemployment claims.

With the latest tallies, the federal government has now logged more than 2 million Floridians who have filed for unemployment benefits since the unofficial start of the coronavirus crisis March 15.

Nationally, just under 3 million more new unemployment claims were tallied last week. That’s a decrease of almost 200,000 compared to new claims reported the previous week.

Since mid-March, 36.4 million Americans have filed new claims, according to the Department of Labor’s reports.

Over the past few weeks, the Department of Labor had logged 174,860 new Florida claims during week ending May 2, 433,103 for week ending April 25, and 506,670 for week ending April 17.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported Wednesday that it had 1.9 million claims for state or federal relief, and confirmed about 1.4 million of those as unique, not duplicate applications.

Florida has paid some form of unemployment compensation to nearly half of the claimants confirmed, according to the most recent state unemployment claims reports.

The latest report, covering efforts through Tuesday and posted Wednesday, shows Florida still is rejecting just over 30% of all processed claims.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Adam

    May 14, 2020 at 9:54 am

    This debacle isn’t only hurting the unemployed in Florida, it’s hurting the entire economy of Florida! For many like myself, it’s been six weeks of no pay with minimal relief, and we have to be very careful with every penny spent… at this point millions of dollars that should have already hit the local economies throughout Florida is just sitting on the sidelines.

    As businesses that are staying open and reopening are struggling to get by, that unemployment money put in the hands of their customers could have gone a long way to help keep them up and running and others from needing unemployment. Most of that money left on the table right now is Federal money that is helping both the unemployed and the small businesses throughout the nation, but NOT in Florida. I believe many business who have just shut down in the last couple weeks because they weren’t profitable could have been saved had the Federal money hit the economy 4-6 weeks ago as intended.

    This also highlights the need for Florida’s regular unemployment system to be improved sooner than later, not only for those federal dollars but for the Billions that Florida Business owners have contributed that is sitting in wait. These contributions need to flow quickly into the hands of the unemployed and back into the local economy and back into those business’s hands. The less unemployment benefits available, and the lack of quick and efficient distribution of these benefits will cause countless more businesses to go under unnecessarily over the upcoming year(s).

    • Nathan Biddle

      May 14, 2020 at 10:24 am

      Great Post! The working class could lose everything! The worst part is that the money was there! By mid April, everyone should have been approved who had a driver’s license, was in the voter database, and a bank account with their name & address for the $125 from the State and given the $600 Federal. Then work backwards to see who should get the extra whooping additional money up to $150 per week. When you look at it like that, it sounds so stupid that it took over 2 months!

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