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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – First-time unemployment claims in Florida continue to fluctuate just above pre-pandemic levels.

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated 5,958 initial unemployment claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Oct. 30, down from a revised count of 8,788 claims for the week ending Oct. 23. The initial projection for the week ending Oct. 23 was 7,987.

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Nationally, the estimated number of new claims last week was 269,000, down 14,000 from the prior week.

“This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000,” the federal report said.

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Over the past four weeks, the nation has averaged 284,750 claims. In the same span, Florida has averaged 7,111.

Since mid-May, when state leaders upped their efforts to push people back into the workforce during the pandemic, Florida has averaged 7,820 weekly claims. In the four weeks before mid-March 2020, which the state Department of Economic Opportunity marks as the start of the pandemic, the weekly average of new claims in Florida was 5,376. At that time, the weekly average had been under 6,000 since the start of February 2019.

Florida had a 4.9 percent unemployment rate in September, reflecting 517,000 Floridians out of work from a labor force of 10.59 million. October numbers will be issued Nov. 19.

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