The four-week average number of Florida jobless claims reached its lowest mark since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) released the information on Wednesday.
The data reflected 5,343 first-time unemployment claims filed in Florida during the week that ended November 20, which dropped the four-week average to 6,045 claims.
Prior to March 15th, 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, the four-week average of jobless claims was 5,376. This is slightly higher than the data recorded last week which only reflects one week, but is also slightly less than the four-week average.
The beginning of the pandemic caused many businesses to either shut down or scale back. The number of new unemployment claims immediately jumped to 74,313 within the first week, and reached its peak a month later with 506,670 claims for the week ending April 18th, 2020.
In a recent press conference highlighting Florida’s job growth and continued decline of the number of unemployment claims, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated, “We have a great business environment for (manufacturing). A lot of the places where manufacturing grew up, many decades ago, have been more difficult to do business in.”
He added, “We also have probably the strongest commitment in the country, since I’ve been governor, to vocational education and skills-based training. …We’re training people to be able to get skills that are immediately marketable in the economy right now. You know, everything from welding, to aircraft maintenance, to the commercial vehicle drivers. There’s a huge shortage in that.”
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) issued a press release last Friday praising DeSantis and the “successful policies that put Floridians and businesses first.” According to the release, October 2021 numbers revealed that Florida’s economy had 18 consecutive months of private-sector job growth, adding 44,300 jobs over the month and increasing by 5.7% over the year.
The DEO report also states that Florida’s unemployment rate, currently at 4.6%, also decreased by 0.2 percentage points from the revised September 2021 rate of 4.8%.
Compared to national numbers, the DEO report highlighted that Florida’s labor force growth represents a 5.8% increase over the year, which is higher than the national rate of 0.5%.
However, as far as the national number of jobless claims provided by the USDOL’s report, the 199,000 initial unemployment claims in the U.S. recorded last week is the lowest mark in 52 years when the number of unemployment claims was 197,000 during the week of November 15th, 1969.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by U.S. Secretary of Defense. CC BY 2.0. Background Photo “Florida Department of Economic Opportunity” by Michael Rivera. CC BY-SA 3.0.