The number of new weekly unemployment claims related to the coronavirus outbreak fell below 70,000 for the first time since September in Florida in the past week, according to data released this week by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
There were 67,000 new applications for pandemic-related jobless benefits in the state in the past week. The total number of unemployment claims since the outbreak began in March now stands at 4.641 million in Florida, up from 4.574 million last week.
October saw sharp increases in the weekly number of new filings, at one point reaching 108,000 new claims in one week. The weekly figure of new claims started to fall in recent weeks and finally dipped below the 70,000 mark in the past week.
September saw new weekly claims fall to nearly 60,000 for some weeks. That was as substantial decrease from wild figures in the early stages of the pandemic and into the summer when there were weeks where as many as 500,000 Floridians filed new jobless claims in a single week as the outbreak forced many businesses to lay off workers or close outright.
Of the new claims in the past week, 4.476 million are unique claims, meaning they were not duplicates. A total of 4.394 million claims have been processed, or about 99%.
Another 2.102 million of the pandemic-related jobless claims filed in Florida have been paid since the outbreak began. That’s about 98% of eligible claims filed.
The cost of unemployment assistance to those impacted by the pandemic in Florida has now stacked up to $18.542 billion.
Of that, $12.072 billion has been covered by federal pandemic unemployment compensation and lost wage assistance. The federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation fund has covered another $1.559 billion, while federal pandemic unemployment assistance has paid $1.249 billion.
Florida’s reemployment assistance program has covered $3.661 billion of the cost.