Florida Unemployment Claims Begin to Increase After Weeks of Decline

first_imgThe Department of Economic Opportunity had paid out $7.29 billion in Florida and federal benefits, of which $1.8 billion was state money.DeSantis has indicated he plans to continue moving forward with reopening efforts. Rather than implementing a statewide mask requirement, he asked younger Floridians this week “to do your part” by following health recommendations regarding social distancing, hand cleaning and mask wearing.However, the governor added that he also understood the desire of younger Floridians to go out after being at home for weeks.“People naturally want to do things,” DeSantis said. “If I was 25, I’d be probably with them. I mean that’s just realistic. I can sit here and try to act like I wouldn’t, but I remember what it was like then.”He has also pushed for the resumption of professional sports in Florida. Florida saw a slight increase in first-time jobless claims last week, as the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday reported 1.48 million initial unemployment claims were filed nationwide.Our state had an estimated 93,394 claims during the week that ended June 20. That was up from 88,148 the previous week, as the second phase of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening effort slows down amid an increase in coronavirus cases.The state Department of Economic Opportunity announced last Friday that the state’s May unemployment rate was 14.5 percent, which represents 1.412 million Floridians out of work from a labor force of almost 9.71 million. A June rate will be announced July 17.Florida’s 93,394 claims are behind only the 287,354 posted in California and the 124,283 in Georgia.Meanwhile, New York had 90,186 claims, while Texas recorded 89,241. The numbers for Georgia, New York and Texas were all lower than in the previous week.The unemployment increase in Florida followed two weeks of declining first-time claims. Since March 15, when the coronavirus pandemic began affecting the state, more than 2.64 million jobless applications have been filed, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity.last_img