Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Florida jobless claims drop

Florida last week had the lowest number of first-time unemployment claims since the start of the year, as the state prepares to update jobless numbers on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 4,767 initial claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended March 18, down from 5,461 during the week that ended March 11.

Last week’s total was the lowest since 4,238 claims were filed during the holiday-shortened week that ended Dec. 31.

During the past four weeks, the state has averaged 5,093 new claims.

Nationally, 191,000 new claims were filed last week, down 1,000 from the prior week.

Over the past four weeks, the national average was 196,250.

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

The state had a 2.6 percent unemployment rate in January, representing an estimated 286,000 Floridians qualified as out of work from a workforce of 10.855 million.