TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – During the shortened Thanksgiving holiday week, first-time unemployment claims in Florida were at the lowest level in nearly two years.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimated 3,808 first-time claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Nov. 27. 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.

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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.

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With the latest numbers, Florida has averaged 5,493 claims over the past four weeks.

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.

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CBSMiami.com Team