• Photo via Government of Florida/Wikimedia Commons

Florida saw a slight increase in first-time jobless claims last week, as the U.S. Department of Labor reported new unemployment applications nationally went back above 1 million during the same period.

The federal agency estimated 66,322 new claims were filed in Florida during the week ending Aug. 15, up 4,738 from the prior week. Nationally, 1.106 million claims were filed last week. That represented an increase of 135,000 from the prior week, which was the first week with fewer than 1 million new unemployment applications since coronavirus lockdowns began.

Since mid-March, Florida has received about 3.67 million unemployment claims. The state Department of Economic Development has distributed $14 billion in state and federal money to nearly 1.9 million claimants, of which about $2.95 billion was from the state.

Florida will release a July unemployment report Friday. The state’s rate in June was 10.4 percent, representing 1.021 million Floridians out of work from a workforce of 9.77 million.

Nationally, the unemployment rate for July – released Aug. 7 – declined by 0.9 percentage points to 10.2 percent. Since February, the national unemployment rate is up 6.7 percentage points. Florida last week continued to be among the state leaders in new claims.

California led the nation with 201,640 new claims. New York had an estimated 62,397 claims last week. Texas was at 61,416. Georgia had 58,080 claims.

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