Florida unemployment filings slow in past week

Unemployment caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Unemployment is still rampant, but it's not as bad as it was.

There were about 100,000 new applications for unemployment assistance amid the COVID-19 outbreak  in Florida in the past week, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

While that figure sounds alarming, it’s actually a slow down. Data released this week show a total of 2.6 million jobless benefit claims have been made since March 15 when the pandemic started through June 21. Of those, 2.4 million have been confirmed unique, which means they weren’t duplicates.

The latest data shows at least some slow down in the rush from Floridians seeking unemployment assistance. The week before, the number of unique claims had jumped by 400,000 from the previous week.

Meanwhile, there were 95.6% of unique claims processed by the state, or about 2.3 million. That’s also an improvement from the previous week when the state had handled about 92.2% claims filed, or about 2.2 million.

The number of people eligible for state or federal benefits has also increased. The state said 1.27 million applicants are now eligible for both. That’s an increase of nearly 100,000 in one week. Another 27,578 are eligible for federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation. Still another 258,791 are eligible for federal pandemic unemployment assistance. Some 479,161 are ineligible for federal or state reemployment assistance.

A total of 1.47 million people eligible for benefits have been paid. That accounts for $7.14 billion in payments to Floridians since the pandemic started in March.

Most of that tab has been picked by federal agencies. The state has paid out $1.76 billion in reemployment assistance to Florida claimants. The federal government has paid $5.15 billion in unemployment compensation, $186.3 million in federal pandemic unemployment assistance and $33.36 million in federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected]


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