Number of new Floridians seeking pandemic jobless help falls to 70K

Unemployment theme with virus craft objects
About 3.88 million coronaviurs-related jobless claims have been filed in the state.

After several weeks of some modest declines in the number of Floridians applying for coronavirus-related unemployment help, there was a significant drop in the past week, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity data.

There were 3.88 million total claims for pandemic jobless assistance in the past week in the Sunshine State, up about 70,000 claims over the previous week. The past week’s number of new claims is the smallest increase for coronavirus unemployment filings in Florida in months.

Since June, the number of increased unemployment claims related to coronavirus had ranged between 90,000 and 100,000 additional filings each week. The first week of September has snapped that trend, which was much more severe during the peak of pandemic-related shutdowns when as many as 500,000 people were filing for coronavirus-related unemployment benefits per week.

There were a total 3.72 million unique jobless claims in the past week, meaning they were not duplicates. Another 3.65 million claims have been processed since the beginning of the outbreak in March, which is about a 99% processing rate.

There are about 2.1 million Floridians  who are now eligible for state reemployment assistance, federal pandemic emergency unemployment assistance or federal pandemic unemployment assistance. Another 670,572 people are not eligible for state or federal reemployment assistance.

There have been 1.95 million total pandemic jobless claims paid since the outbreak gripped the state. That’s about 93.1% of all filings that have been paid.

In all, $14.89 billion has been paid out to people who’ve filed unemployment claims since the beginning of the pandemic in Florida. Out of that figure, $10.38 billion came from federal pandemic unemployment compensation. Another $646.97 million has come from federal pandemic unemployment assistance and another $736.96 million has been drawn from federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation.

Florida’s state reemployment assistance has accounted for $3.13 billion in pay outs since the pandemic fell over the state, forcing many employers to institute furloughs, layoffs and some outright closings. That’s about a $50-million increase, which is down from the previous week’s increase of about $78 million.

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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