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More Than 1.6M Unemployment Claims Filed In Fla.; Health Care Jobs Trend In Jax

Now hiring sign
David Zalubowski
AP File photo

The devastation Florida's economy is experiencing from the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming more apparent each day with the launch of a new unemployment tracking tool by theFlorida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

The fequently updated website shows that more than 1.6 million unemployment claims had been submitted by Floridians between March 15 and Monday, April 20. In Florida, unemployment claims are known as reemployment assistance claims. The state goes on to explain that because people may have applied for reemployment assistance online and by paper, there are many dupicate applications. DEO has verified more than 664,000 unique claims.

Related: Layoffs In Jacksonville Have Spread Well Beyond Hospitality Industry

So far, 25.5% of the confirmed unique claims have been processed, with more than $125.5 million paid to over 94,000 people. 

Meanwhile, DEO stats indicate that as far back as February, Jacksonville’s jobs picture was starting to show a decline.

A DEO analysis of online job ads for February showed 32,159 jobs being advertised online in Jacksonville. That’s a drop of 4.3% from 33,616 advertised jobs during the same time period in 2019, and before safer-at-home orders were issued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top 15 FL cities with the most online ads
Credit Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Jacksonville’s healthcare industry dominated the list of available jobs, according to information the DEO pulled from the area served byCareerSource Northeast Florida.

chart of top employers
Credit Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Jacksonville’s technology industry saw some of the steepest month-over-month drops in the top 15 jobs advertised online, with the number of  computer systems analyst jobs listed down 14.7% between January and February. Software and applications developer online job postings were off 26.2% for the same time period.


The DEO is also forecasting the top 10 fastest growing occupations in the Jacksonville will be dominated by the healthcare industry.

Credit Credit

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.