Jobless claims surge nationwide, dip in Florida

by | Apr 9, 2020

It’s another brutal report for the nation’s job market, as new data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Thursday showed that jobless claims surged to 6.6 million nationwide last week, bringing the total unemployment filings in the U.S. to nearly 17 million over the past three weeks.

The situation can be explained in a single chart:

With businesses continuing to close and lay off workers across the country, the new numbers from the DOL closely resemble the previous week’s total ending April 2 — when 6.9 million American filed for unemployment. Last week’s total remains the largest number ever recorded, surpassing the fallout from the Great Recession that rose to 665,000 in March 2009 and the all-time mark of 695,000 that occurred in October 1982.

10 percent of the U.S. labor force is now out of work.

The numbers in the Sunshine State, however, dipped slightly, with close to 170,000 Floridians filing for unemployment last week. The number of initial claims fell by 58,599 to 169,885, according to the statistics by the DOL. Many believe the decrease was due to the state’s unemployment system being overrun by a massive influx of applicants who were unable to access the website.

The stunning report from the DOL comes as job cuts soar across the United States with businesses closing as a result of economic fallout from the growing pandemic. With the economy tanking, the U.S. approaches half a million coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, Florida saw its confirmed cases increase overnight by 700, bringing the total across the state to 16,364.

Other states, however, fared much worse than Florida. States who issued earlier mandatory stay-at-home orders were hit the hardest, with places like California (925,450), New Jersey (213,897), and New York (345,246) seeing their totals rise or remain steady.

Today’s numbers come a little over one week after Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order requiring all Floridians to “limit movement and personal interactions outside the home.”

The order is set to last for 30 days

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