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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Apr. 16, 202009:40 AM EST

 Florida unemployment claims rise to 181,293

The number is up from the week before, but below the peak in March.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

While some Florida residents continue to have difficulty filing claims for unemployment insurance, the number of new claims increased in the most recent week, the U.S. Department of Labor said April 16.

In the week ending April 11, the department said 181,293 Floridians filed for unemployment benefits, up from 169,885 the previous week.

Nationally, there were 5.245 million new claims filed in the week, down from 6.606 million the previous week.

New claims in Florida peaked at 228,484 in the week ended March 28. The Labor Department said the decline since then is because of fewer layoffs in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, construction, service, and manufacturing industries.

However, the total number of claims has skyrocketed in Florida since the end of February, when the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic began to be felt.

Floridians have filed 670,616 new claims in the past seven weeks, compared with 41,084 in the same period of 2019.

Unemployment data for the Jacksonville data since the pandemic began is not yet available. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is scheduled to release its report on the labor markets in March for metropolitan areas April 17.

That data is based on surveys of households and businesses in mid-March and likely will not fully reflect the surge in job losses in the last two weeks of the month.

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