Unemployment: 206,000 new Florida claims
The Florida unemployment rate crept up to 3.3% in April.

concept unemployment and coronavirus a man in a medical hygienic mask is holding a cardboard tablet with a inscription need a job
That total is an increase of 31,000 from the previous week.

The number of Floridians filing first-time claims for unemployment rose last week, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The latest report, tracking new claims through last Saturday, showed 206,494 Floridians reported they had lost their jobs during the week. That’s up 18% from an adjusted total of 175,411 the previous week, and far higher than any single week total that Florida had ever seen prior to the coronavirus crisis.

Even as Florida had begun its reopening, a second wave of layoffs has emerged as companies hoping to hold out as long as they could have seen reserves dwindle, leading to delayed cuts.

Florida’s ten-week total during the coronavirus economic collapse is now about 2.5 million since the week ending March 21, according to federal numbers. That’s roughly consistent with the latest from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which reports 2.3 million applications, through Tuesday.

Nationally, there was a drop-off in new claims in the week ending last Saturday, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In tallies not adjusted for seasonal economic eb-and-flow, there were 1.6 million new unemployment compensation applications filed around the country during the week, compared with 1.9 million during  the week ending May 23. The seasonally-adjusted total for the latest week was 1.9 million.

Only California, with 230,461 new claims filed last week, saw more new claims in the period than Florida. Only Georgia and Texas also saw more than 100,000 new claims during the week.

In Tallahassee, the Department of Economic Opportunity now is reporting that it has verified just over 2 million applications as being from unique applicants. The department has processed about 1.8 million of those to determine if the people are qualified for any state or federal aid.

About 1 million have been ruled eligible for the state’s reemployment assistance money; 456,000 have been deemed eligible for both the state’s unemployment compensation payments and for federal unemployment relief under the federal pandemic reemployment assistance fund. Another 151,000 have been deemed eligible only for the federal pandemic unemployment assistance fund. Just under 13,000 more Floridians have qualified for the federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation fund.

Of those, through Tuesday, just under 1.2 million have been paid some form of unemployment compensation.

Total compensation payments to unemployed Floridians who lost their jobs since the coronavirus crisis crashed the economy in mid-March is $1.2 billion from state funds, and $2.9 billion from federal funds.

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].


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