By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida continues to see unemployment claims roll in at a pace that has remained relatively stable since May and well below the crush of claims when businesses closed or scaled back early in the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated 6,770 first-time unemployment claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Jan. 22, down from a revised count of 8,593 in the week ending Jan. 15.

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The state’s average for the past four weeks is 7,441 claims, slightly higher than the weekly average of 7,276 since mid-May when state officials increased efforts to drive people back into the labor force.

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Meanwhile, 260,000 claims were filed nationally last week, down 30,000 from the prior week. The country has averaged 247,000 claims over the past four weeks.

On Tuesday, the Labor Department reported Florida was one of 42 states and the District of Columbia that saw their unemployment rates drop in December. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported last week that the state’s unemployment rate in December was 4.5 percent, down from 4.4 percent in November. The Department of Economic Opportunity figures showed the state had regained 92.1 percent of the 1.27 million jobs lost in the early stages of the pandemic from February 2020 through April 2020. The recapture rate stood at 91.2 percent in November and 86.6 percent in October.

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