Initial unemployment claims in Florida increase 30% over previous week

The Center Square – In the week when some Floridians started returning to work, initial unemployment claims for the week ending May 9 jumped 30 percent in Florida.

According to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor, initial unemployment claims in Florida last week were 221,905, up 47,045 from the 174,860 claims filed the week ending May 2. Initial claims in Florida for the week ending May 2 were down 60% from the previous week.

Phase one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan started May 4.

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 The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Reemployment Assistance Claims Dashboard reported Thursday morning that 1.1 million of 1.4 million – or 78.3 percent – of “confirmed unique” unemployment claims filed since March 15 had been processed through Tuesday, with 693,950 people – or 49.4 percent – receiving payments that totaled $1.77 billion.

DEO’s dashboard showed nearly 1.936 million total claims have been filed, but notes that number includes applications from “individuals (who) may have submitted an application through multiple methods” and “include duplicate or triplicate claim counts.”

Of the 1.1 million unique claims processed, 650,612 qualified for state re-employment assistance and federal unemployment compensation, and 58,498 received federal pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) available under the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

 More than 333,000 were ineligible for state and federal unemployment assistance, although DEO said that some still may qualify for PUA.

According to DEO, of the $1.77 billion paid in jobless assistance to Floridians through Tuesday, $618.34 million had been paid in state claims, $1.138 billion in federal unemployment compensation and $13.728 million in PUA.

Nationally, 2.98 million Americans filed for new unemployment benefits for the week ending May 9 – down 195,000 from the 3.17 million Americans who filed claims for the week ending May 2.

The total number of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits in the past two months is more than 36 million.

• The Center Square contributor John Haughey contributed to this report.

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