First-time unemployment claims in Florida last week hit a number not seen since the end of January, but the state continues to have a level of claims similar to before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimated 6,363 claims were filed last week in Florida, up from a revised count of 5,167 during the week ending April 2.

Last week’s estimated total was the largest amount since 6,680 claims were recorded during the week ending Jan. 29. After hitting a low of 3,328 claims during the week ending Feb. 26, the numbers have shown a slow increase.

The Labor Department estimated the number of new claims nationally at 185,000 last week, an increase of 18,000 from the prior week, when claims were at the lowest mark in more than 50 years.

Florida has averaged 5,182 claims over the past four weeks and 5,857 since the start of the year. The state had a 3.3 percent unemployment rate in February, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will release a March jobless report on Friday.


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