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New unemployment claims rise sharply nationwide and in Florida

A jump of more than 50,000 claimants pushes the national number to its highest level in two months.

New unemployment claims are once again on the rise.

After weeks of generally slow, almost stagnant declines, the number of Americans filing initial jobless claims rose last week to 898,000, an increase of more than 50,000 from the previous week. If the U.S. Department of Labor adjusts that number upward, as often happens, this would be the first week since mid-August that new unemployment claims hit 900,000.

Before factoring in normal seasonal employment trends, the week-to-week increase is even higher — a 9.5 percent jump to nearly 886,000.

Nationally, the number of people receiving some form of unemployment for the week ending Sept. 26 — the most recent week for which that statistic is available — decreased slightly to 25,290,325. That’s nearly 18 times what it was during the same week in 2019.

The national increase played out in Florida, too, as 44,795 residents filed new unemployment claims last week, an increase of nearly 2,500 from the previous week’s revised number.

The state has now handed out more than $17.3 billion to 2.04 million unemployment claimants, including $3.45 billion in state money and $13.87 billion in federal pandemic relief funds.

Florida’s unemployment rate sat at 11.4 percent in July and 7.4 percent in August. The state will release its September unemployment rate on Friday.

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