Florida unemployment rate, jobless claims remain near record lows

by | Nov 28, 2023

  • Florida reported a decrease in new unemployment claims in the week before Thanksgiving, signaling robust job market health.
  • The state’s unemployment rate in October was 2.8%, significantly below the U.S. average of 3.9%.
  • Florida’s jobless rate ranks favorably compared to other major U.S. states, far below California, Texas and New York.

Florida’s labor market showed further signs of strength as it recorded a decrease in new unemployment claims in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. The U.S. Department of Labor confirmed that the state saw around 5,928 initial claims in the week ending November 18, reflecting a small yet significant drop from the previous week’s revised count of 5,979.

The new data comes at a time when Florida’s unemployment rate already stands at an impressive 2.8 percent for October, substantially lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent, according to a report by the Florida Department of Commerce. This figure, representing around 318,000 unemployed individuals in a labor force of over 11 million, positions Florida as one of the states with the most favorable employment conditions across the country.

Despite a slight uptick from May’s low of 2.6 percent, Florida’s October unemployment rate maintains the state’s ranking as 11th lowest in the nation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary data put the state’s jobless rate at one of the lowest it has recorded since 1976, only surpassed by a record low of 2.4% in 2004.

After the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed Florida’s unemployment rate to a peak of 14.1% in May 2020, the state has demonstrated a rapid and robust recovery, notably outpacing the national unemployment rate, which reached a high of 14.7% in April 2020.

Comparing Florida’s economic performance with other populous states reveals an even more striking contrast. California, for instance, reported an October unemployment rate of 4.8%, ranking it 49th in the nation. Texas maintained a steady rate of 4.1%, ranking 40th, while New York saw an increase to 4.2%, ranking it 42nd nationally. Pennsylvania, with a 3.4% unemployment rate, remained below the national average, ranking 30th.


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