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Corona Economics

Florida pandemic-related jobless claims climb 81K in past week

The figure was about 27,000 less than the previous week.

The number of new jobless claims related to the coronavirus pandemic decreased in the past week in Florida for the first time in about a month, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity data released this week.

There were about 81,000 new unemployment filings in Florida related to the COVID-19 outbreak in the past week. That’s down about 27,000 claims from the second week of October when 108,000 new claims were filed.

The past week’s new claims are also below other weeks in Florida when new jobless claims were hovering around 87,000 new filings each week this fall. October saw a steep increase in unemployment claims related to the pandemic after weekly new filings fell to as little as 60,000 new claims in one week in September.

While the figures in September and October fluctuated between 60,000 and 108,000 new claims per week, that’s still fewer than the peak of the outbreak when some weeks in the spring saw as many as 500,000 new jobless claims in one week in April and May.

The total number of unemployment claims connected to the pandemic has now climbed to 4.431 million in Florida since the outbreak began to grip the state in March. About 4.274 million of those filings are unique claims, meaning they are not duplicates.

There have been 4.201 million claims that have been processed in Florida. That’s about 99% of the confirmed unique claims that have been submitted.

Another 2.064 million claims have been paid, 97% of the eligible claims.

The cost of the Sunshine State’s unemployment claims have amounted to $17.795 billion since March. About $11.831 billion has come from the federal pandemic unemployment compensation lost wage assistance program. Another $1.358 billion has been covered by the federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation funding while another $988 million has been paid by federal pandemic unemployment assistance.

Florida re-employment assistance has covered another $3.527 billion in help for those filing jobless claims.

Written By

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

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