New jobless claims continue to decline in Florida
TALLAHASSEE – Florida continues to see new unemployment claims reach pre-pandemic levels, even as businesses related to recreation and tourism say they are struggling to attract workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimated Thursday that 6,430 new claims were filed in Florida during the week ending July 10, up from a revised tally of 6,739 in the week ending July 10. July 3.
Nationally, 360,000 new claims were filed last week, down 26,000 from the revised tally the week before.
The national number is the lowest since the week ending March 14, 2020, when 256,000 complaints were filed.
That same week in 2020, Florida registered 6,463 first jobless claims. A week earlier, 5,325 new complaints had been filed.
Over the past four weeks, Florida has averaged 6,938 new requests per week.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which will update the state’s employment data on Friday, marks the start of the pandemic on March 15, 2020. New jobless claims hit 74,313 that week, quickly overwhelming the state’s online unemployment system.
The state’s unemployment rate now stands at 4.9%, reflecting 503,000 qualified unemployed people out of a labor force of 10.24 million as of mid-May.
The state update follows the U.S. Department of Labor announcing on July 2 that the country has created 850,000 jobs, as the pace of hiring accelerates alongside increased consumer demand for the reopening of a pandemic.
The monthly count nationwide is up from 583,000 in May and 278,000 in April. Yet the unemployment rate fell from 5.6% to 5.9% as people re-enter the workforce.
Florida’s rate has seen a similar rise, although some industries continue to report that people are delaying returning to work.
For example, the American Hotel & Lodging Association launched a “hotels are hiring” advertising campaign on Wednesday.
“With the recovery of leisure travel, the hospitality industry must fill thousands of vacancies to meet an increase in consumer travel demand,” the association said in a press release. “To get more workers to join the industry, hotels are offering employees more competitive compensation, flexible hours, and additional benefits, including paid vacation, health care benefits, retirement savings, and more.
On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Businesses reported that “the labor shortage remains a challenge for small businesses as inflation rises.”
NFIB Florida Executive Director Bill Herrle predicts an increase in the number of people applying for jobs due to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ action last month to end Florida’s acceptance of aid federal unemployment linked to the pandemic. Help is available for states until early September.
“Business across the state has picked up, but having more demand than you can supply is a curse rather than a blessing,” Herrle said in a statement.
Federal Aid provided eligible Florida applicants with $ 300 per week in aid. Florida separately provides a maximum of $ 275 per week for those qualified as unemployed.
Andrew Stettner, unemployment insurance expert and senior researcher at the Century Foundation, pleaded Thursday to maintain federal unemployment assistance as 13.7 million workers nationwide still depend on unemployment assistance .
“The plight of these workers and our overall economic health is one of the reasons Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday pledged to continue supporting the economy until it comes closer.” from pre-pandemic levels, noting that there is no noticeable difference in labor market outcomes. between the two dozen or so states that cut their residents off the $ 300 federal supplement and those that haven’t, ”Stettner said in a statement.
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