New jobless claims break 100K for first time since August
Unemployment claims jumped by 108,000 in past week in Florida. Image via AP.

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October has seen an uptick in new claims.

Weekly pandemic-related unemployment claims in Florida have exceeded 100,000 for the first time in two months, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity data released this week.

There were about 108,000 new unemployment claims in the past week for a total of 4.35 million filings in the state since March. That is the highest weekly increase for jobless claims connected to the coronavirus outbreak in the Sunshine State since August.

Last week’s total figure was 4.242 million, which was an increase of 87,000 from the first week of October.

September had seen a steady decline in weekly COVID-19-related jobless claims. Weekly reports fell to about 60,000 new claims in September. But that trend shifted to about 80,000 new claims per week in early October.

The latest numbers are still far from the wild weekly claims recorded in the depths of the initial phases of the pandemic. In April and May, there were weeks when more than 500,000 Floridians filed for unemployment benefits as businesses started to temporarily shut down or went out of business completely, sparking a flood of people who lost jobs in Florida.

Still, Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo pointed to the uptick as evidence of a stagnating recovery.

“This report shows us what so many Floridians already know: Donald Trump’s ‘V-shaped’ recovery is a figment of his imagination,” she said. “Unlike Trump, who has thrown up his hands in defeat after failing to manage the pandemic, Joe Biden has a plan to beat back coronavirus, provide relief to jobless Floridians, and rebuild this economy.”

Out of the total jobless claims, 4.191 million are confirmed unique claims, meaning they were not duplicates.

There are now 4.12 million total claims that have been processed. That’s about 99% of the claims that have been filed in the state.

Another 2.049 million claims have been paid, about 97% of the eligible claims.

Payouts to the unemployed in Florida have now jumped to $17.498 billion, up from $17.254 billion last week.

Out of the latest unemployment compensation, $11.804 billion has come from federal pandemic unemployment compensation and lost wage assistance. Another $1.289 billion is being covered by federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation while $920.87 million is being picked up by the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program.

Florida is picking up $3.484 billion in unemployment compensation coming from the state reemployment assistance program.

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].

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 21, 2020 at 10:01 am

    With Desantis pushing the Nazi cult herd immunity , things shall get worse before things get better! Desantis does not have a clue how to plan and bring back our service economy! It will take time and changes! Desantis will continue
    To kill and maime Floridians to please his lord and master DICtator traitor Trump! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the common good!

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