March 26, 2023

Florida Unemployment Claims Dip Again

Florida posted its fourth consecutive week of decreases in first-time unemployment claims, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report released Thursday.

The department estimated that 5,671 first-time claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Aug. 13, down from a revised count of 5,998 claims during the week that ended Aug. 6.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday will release a July unemployment report.

The state’s June rate stood at 2.8 percent, representing 303,000 Floridians unemployed from a workforce of 10.633 million.

The new reports come after state economists on Tuesday bumped up projections for state general revenue.

Revenue has been boosted by inflation, which causes higher prices and, as a result, higher sales-tax collections.

But state economists also expressed concerns about a looming economic “downshift” at some point this fiscal year.

"A lot of the things we're expecting to happen didn't really start happening until May, June, and then they'll be kind of unfolding over the course of the summer," Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research, said Tuesday.

"And then the national economic outlook we adopted … they slid (the worst effects) back into 2023. The more it slides, the more we're getting kind of these elevated numbers."

Florida has averaged 6,178 new unemployment claims over the past four weeks, according to Department of Labor numbers.

Since the start of the year, the weekly average of jobless claims has been 5,891.

Through the first seven months of 2021, the weekly average was 19,490 claims, as the state continued to grapple with economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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