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Florida Jobless Claims Stay Steady, Concerns Over “Labor Quality” Continue

The number of first-time unemployment claims showed little change last week, as concerns about the labor force continue.
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The number of first-time unemployment claims in Florida showed little change last week, as concerns about the labor force continue.

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 5,604 initial unemployment claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended May 6, six fewer than during the previous week.

Meanwhile, an estimated 264,000 claims were filed nationally last week, up from 242,000 during the week that ended April 29.

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The national total was the largest amount since the week that ended Oct. 30, when the estimate was also 264,000. Florida has averaged 5,461 new claims over the past four weeks, below the weekly average of 5,709 since the start of November.

Florida had a 2.6 percent unemployment rate in March, with an estimated 283,000 Floridians out of work from a workforce of 10.92 million people.

The state will release an April unemployment report on May 19.

On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business expressed concerns about “labor quality,” releasing a survey showing small-business owners consider that a bigger problem than inflation.

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“Small businesses are in a difficult position,” NFIB Florida Executive Director Bill Herrle said in a prepared statement. “Inflation continues to drive up prices across the board, and a lack of qualified job applicants is leaving many small businesses without enough workers to maintain the level of service and timeliness their customers expect.”

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