Florida Surpasses California For Most Unemployment Claims Last Week

Florida registered the largest increase in initial unemployment claims of any state for the week ending April 25, the United States Department of Labor announced this week. 

Florida registered the largest increase in initial unemployment claims of any state for the week ending April 25, the United States Department of Labor announced this week.

The Sunshine State, which reported 432,465 jobless claims for the week ending on April 25, surpassed California’s 328,042 claims, marking the first time since the week ending on March 21 that the Golden State (the country’s most-populous state) did not lead the nation in the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits.

Florida’s unemployment dashboard shows the number of unique claims as of April 28 totaled 835,290, a number that represents more than nine-percent of the state’s workforce. About 48% of those claimants have been paid, according to the dashboard.

Florida-based companies whose layoff announcements were made public this week include Perry Ellis International, which announced layoffs of more than 300 workers. Meanwhile, the Hard Rock locations in Orlando and Hollywood laid off a combined total of about 700 employees.

Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis has announced a plan to reopen the state, which will allow restaurants to open at 25% capacity indoors, with outdoor seating available as long as the restaurant ensures there is six-foot social distancing between parties, which will be limited to 10 or fewer. Retail stores, museums and libraries will also reopen at 25% indoor capacity. Moreover, elective surgeries could also resume.

Gov. DeSantis’ plan does not include Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in South Florida, where infection rates remain relatively high.

The AP reports California and Texas had about two-thirds of claims backlogged, while New York had about 30% of claims on hold.

“A look at unemployment claims around the country by state strongly implies that there will be a surge in unemployment claims in two states: Texas and Florida,” Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US, told CNBC. “The collapse of the oil and energy complex in Texas will certainly cause a surge in claims, as well as in Florida, where widespread issues in processing so many claims will almost surely cause a jump in first-time claims over the next month.”

In terms of state labor force size, Hawaii, Kentucky, Georgia, Rhode Island and Michigan lead the U.S. in jobless claims over the last six weeks. Those states have seen 292, 286, 268, 261, and 255 jobless claims per 1,000 workers respectively.

Nationwide, more than 3.83 million unemployment claims were filed last week according to the Department of Labor, a slight decline from the previous week that saw four million claims. As of Thursday’s data release, at least 30.3 million unemployment claims have been filed in the six week period ending on April 25.

The next federal unemployment release is scheduled for Friday, May 8.

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