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Corona Economics

Florida pandemic-related jobless claims jump by 77,000 in past week

The Florida price tag for helping workers impacted by coronavirus has climbed to $18.77 billion.

About 77,000 new pandemic-related unemployment claims were filed in Florida over the past week.

According to the latest data released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, there were a total of 4.718 million jobless benefit claims since the outbreak of coronavirus in March as of this week. That’s up from last week’s total of 4.641 million. This week’s claims were about 10,000 more new claims over the number of new claims a week ago.

Last week’s additional claims of 67,000 were the lowest number of new claims due to the pandemic in one week since September. That figure did jump up to 108,000 in early October. But this fall’s COVID-19 related unemployment claims are nowhere near the onslaught of jobless filings that saw as many as 500,000 claims in a single week in spring and into early summer as Florida business began to layoff, furlough or terminate employees entirely.

As of this week, there were a total of 4.536 million unique pandemic-related jobless claims in Florida since the outbreak began, meaning they were not duplicates. A total of 4.45 million claims have been processed. That’s about 99.1% of the confirmed unique claims submitted.

Another 2.112 million claims have been paid since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in Florida. That’s about 97.7%.

The cost of the impact on workers in Florida and compensating those who’ve lost jobs continues to skyrocket. The pandemic assistance for workers in the state has now amassed a price tag of $18.77 billion.

Most of that has been covered by federal dollars. About $12.128 billion in funding has come from federal pandemic unemployment compensation and lost wage assistance. Another $1.612 billion has been picked up by federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, and another additional $1.336 billion has been paid by federal pandemic unemployment assistance.

Florida is by no means free of covering some of the costs of the pandemic’s toll on the state’s workforce. The Florida re-employment assistance program has covered an estimated $3.693 billion paid to those workers negatively impacted by the outbreak.

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 drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.

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