Tallahassee, Florida – For the first-time unemployment claims in Florida were at the lowest level in nearly two years, during the shortened Thanksgiving holiday week.
During the week that ended Nov. 27. the U.S. Department of Labor estimated 3,808 first-time claims were filed in Florida. That was the lowest number since the holiday-shortened Christmas week in 2019 when 3,807 new claims were filed before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Claims nationally rose last week after hitting the lowest number for a week since November 1969. But the 222,000 claims filed nationally last week kept U.S. unemployment numbers at a pre-pandemic pace.
The number of claims filed last week in Florida was down from a revised count of 5,831 claims during the week that ended Nov. 20. The Department of Labor initially estimated 5,343 first-time claims had been filed the week ending Nov. 20.
Florida has averaged 5,493 claims over the past four weeks with the latest numbers.
The state has averaged 7,507 new claims a week since mid-May when efforts were increased to push people back into the workforce.
Over the four weeks prior to March 15, 2020 — a date officials use to mark the onset of the pandemic for unemployment purposes — the state averaged 5,376 new claims a week.
The weekly average was 4,784 claims during the final four weeks of 2019. Florida’s October unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, reflecting an estimated 491,000 Floridians out of work from a labor force of 10.59 million.