The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated that 3,417 initial unemployment claims were filed in Florida last week, down from a revised count of 5,218 during the week that ended May 21.
The new estimate is the lowest for the state since 3,328 claims were filed during the week that ended Feb. 26 and put the average number of claims over the past four weeks at 4,554.
It also showed that claim numbers continue to be similar to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic slammed into the economy in 2020. In the four weeks before March 15, 2020, considered by the state and federal governments as the start of the pandemic for labor purposes, Florida averaged 5,376 claims a week.
Over the final four weeks of May 2020, by comparison, the weekly average was 207,901. Florida had a 3.0 percent unemployment rate in April, reflecting 321,000 people qualified as unemployed from a workforce of 10.54 million. The state Department of Economic Opportunity will release a May report on June 17.