First-time unemployment claims in Florida last week came in at the lowest number since the start of the year.
The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 4,854 initial claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended March 25, down from a revised count of 5,078 during the week that ended March 18.
Last week’s total was the lowest since 4,238 were filed during the holiday-shortened week that ended Dec. 31.
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The state Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday released a report that showed the state had a 2.6 percent unemployment rate in February, reflecting 284,000 people qualified as unemployed, down 2,000 from a month earlier.
At the same time, the labor force grew by 24,000 to 10.879 million. During the past four weeks, the state has averaged 5,065 new claims a week.
Nationally, 198,000 new claims were filed last week, up 7,000 from the previous week and the highest in three weeks. During the past four weeks, the national weekly average was 198,250.
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