The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims totaled 206,000 in the week ending Dec. 11 as the tight labor market continues to recover, though it remains far from pre-pandemic levels.

Florida Jobless Claims Below 6,000

First-time unemployment claims in Florida last week continued dropping toward levels from before Hurricane Ian, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

First-time unemployment claims in Florida last week continued dropping toward levels from before Hurricane Ian, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The report estimated 5,889 initial claims were filed during the week that ended Nov. 12, down from a revised count of 7,412 during the week that ended Nov. 5.

The new number was the lowest weekly total since Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 28. The state has received an estimated 56,716 claims in the six weeks since the storm, an average of 9,453 a week.

In the six weeks before Ian, Florida averaged 5,528 new claims. Nationally, the report estimated 222,000 new claims were filed last week, down 4,000 from the week that ended Nov. 5. Florida had a 2.5 percent unemployment rate in September.

Ian hit after the September data was collected. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is scheduled to release an October unemployment report Friday.

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