By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Unemployment claims in Florida increased slightly last week, with an estimated 16,170 new applications submitted, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The estimate for the week that ended April 10 was up from a revised count of 15,025 the prior week. The federal agency initially projected 11,891 new claims filed during the week that ended April 3.

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The uptick came as the number of claims nationally dropped last week by 193,000 to 576,000.

It also came as the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity prepares to release a March unemployment report on Friday. Florida’s jobless rate for February stood at 4.7 percent, with an estimated 474,000 Floridians out of work from a workforce of 10.1 million.

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Since the start of February, Florida has averaged an estimated 17,881 new claims a week, according to Department of Labor numbers. That average is the lowest for any two-month period since mid-March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic caused many Florida businesses to shut down or scale back.

Since March 15, 2020, the state has paid out more than $25.9 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits to 2.34 million claimants.

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