Florida unemployment

In this Friday, April 17, 2020, file photo, Hillsborough County Library service worker Stephen Duran passes out re-employment forms to a motorist at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library in Tampa, Fla.

Florida had more initial unemployment claims for the week ending April 25 than any other state, but the total still represented a decline from the week before.

According to data released Thursday, April 30, by the U.S. Department of Labor, based on estimates provided by the state, initial unemployment claims in Florida last week were 432,465, down 74,205 – or 15 percent – from the 506,670 claims filed the previous week.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) reported Thursday that 684,657 of 916,002 “confirmed unique” unemployment claims filed by state residents since March 15 had been processed, and 416,683 – or 45.5 percent – had been paid, totaling $579.53 million.

DEO’s re-employment assistance claim dashboard Thursday showed more than 2 million claims have been filed, but notes that number includes applications from “individuals (who) may have submitted an application through multiple methods” and “include duplicate or triplicate claim counts.”

On April 23, DEO reported it had processed 193,405 of 679,179 “unique” claims with only about 16 percent – or 108,216 – being paid, demonstrating a rapid ramp-up in efficiency over the past week, with about 490,000 applications processed and more than 308,000 paid.

Over the weekend, DEO shut down its website to trim backlogged applications. On Monday, April 27, it reported 281,000 claims were processed and 220,000 were paid Saturday and Sunday.

Of the $579.53 million paid in jobless assistance to Floridians through Wednesday, DEO said $240.34 million had been paid in state claims and $339.1 million in federal unemployment compensation authorized under the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Nationally, more than 3.8 million Americans filed new unemployment claims for the week ending April 25 – down 603,000 from the week prior. Over the past six weeks, about 30.3 million Americans have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits.

• The Center Square contributor John Haughey contributed to this report.

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