Fla. Jobless Claims Tick Up As Federal Programs Set To End

Jobless claims in Florida inched up for the second consecutive week, as two federal unemployment-aid programs tied to the COVID-19 pandemic are coming to an end.

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday reported an estimated 8,270 first-time unemployment claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Aug. 28, up from a revised count of 7,977 for the week ending Aug. 21.

The agency had initially estimated 6,494 initial claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Aug. 21.

The totals for both weeks, along with a four-week average of 6,896 claims, remain at pre-pandemic levels. They also come as two federal assistance programs --- known as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs --- are slated to end Monday.

Another federal program, which provided $300 a week to unemployed people in addition to state benefits, was halted by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration in June. The administration pointed to a need to spur people back into the workforce. A Leon County circuit judge this week rejected a challenge to the decision to end that program, known as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.