Weekly unemployment claims dip in Florida

Nearly 85,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims in Florida last week, a dip from the previous week as the coronavirus continues to cause major economic problems, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics released Thursday.

Nationally, 1.427 million initial unemployment applications were filed last week.

Florida had a 14.5 percent unemployment rate in May, with a June figure slated to be released on July 17.

The Department of Labor numbers show Florida had an estimated 84,608 claims during the week that ended Saturday. That number was down from 95,685 the prior week and below the 88,148 during the week that ended June 13, as the second phase of Gov. Ron DeSantis economic reopening effort was getting underway in most of the state.

MORE NEWS: Florida smashes single-day record adding over 10,000 new cases

Since March 15, when the coronavirus began hammering the state, nearly 2.79 million jobless applications have been filed, with about 2.6 million considered “unique,” according to the state Department of Economic Opportunity. Of the unique claims, more than 2.38 million had been processed as of Tuesday, with 1.6 million claimants paid. Another 487,029 claimants had been ruled ineligible for state and federal benefits.

The state administers federal benefits passed by Congress as part of an economic-stimulus plan. As of Tuesday, the Department of Economic Opportunity had paid out $8.32 billion in state and federal benefits, of which $2 billion was state money.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.