Florida’s new unemployment claims drop after brief spike
Florida new jobless claims drop in the past week.

Florida's drop in new weekly unemployment claims reflect the national trend.

New unemployment claims fell in the past week in Florida, according to new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) figures.

There were 6,436 first-time unemployment filings for the week ending May 18 in the Sunshine State, per data that has not been seasonally adjusted. That’s a drop of 788 new claims from the week ending May 11.

The previous report saw a substantial increase in initial jobless claims in the state. But that spike was an aberration compared to recent weeks and months. The first full week of May saw 7,224 first-time claims filed, a substantial jump over the 5,893 claims filed the week ending May 4.

Those figures have since seen moderate adjustments by the DOL. But DOL officials still say Florida had the biggest increase in first-time unemployment insurance benefit claims in the country for the week ending May 11.

Overall though, the number of first-time unemployment claims has been dropping for much of the past several weeks.

This week’s Florida numbers fall in line with the national trend. The DOL reported there were 192,017 first-time jobless claims across America for the week ending May 18. That’s a decrease of 5,663 compared to the previous week’s figure. That’s a 2.9% decrease in first-time unemployment claims nationwide.

The Florida weekly figures are for first-time jobless claims only and cut against changes in the monthly unemployment rate. The general unemployment rate ticked up when the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released its latest monthly jobless report May 17.

The April Florida unemployment rate came in at 3.3%, a slight increase over the March figure of 3.2%. It’s not a substantial increase in the Sunshine State figure, which has remained relatively stable this year.

Florida’s general unemployment rate still remains lower than the national rate, which was 3.9% in the most recent report. That’s a slight increase over the March figure of 3.8%. It was the 42nd consecutive month that Florida’s unemployment rate remained lower than the national figure.

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].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704