Unemployment claims in Florida dipped slightly last week, while the number of first-time claims nationally fell to the lowest mark since September.
The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday released a report that estimated 5,685 new claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Dec. 10, down from a revised count of 6,393 during the week that ended Dec. 3.
The latest numbers show the state continuing to move away from a surge of claims after Category 4 Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida on Sept. 28 and crossed the state. Since the start of November, the state has averaged 6,041 claims a week. Before Hurricane Ian, the state had averaged 6,120 claims a week going back to the beginning of July. In the three weeks after Ian, the state averaged 11,871 claims.
Nationally, 211,000 claims were filed last week, a drop of 20,000 from the week ending Dec. 3. Florida had a 2.7 percent unemployment rate in October, with an estimated 285,000 people qualified as unemployed from a workforce of 10.75 million. The state Department of Economic Opportunity will release November statistics on Friday.
Again, it’s “nice” that the government tells us that unemployment is down. But please, please, please tell the story from the correct angle.
The labor participation rate is down, too, and it is a MUCH better indicator of what’s really happening. During the Obama years it fell from about 66% to 62%, and bottomed out at about 60% when things were shut down for COVID. It’s about 62% now. No matter how you slice it, more than 1/3 of the working age people aren’t working. Tying this into another thread, how many of that 38% are getting “free money” from the government?
Since the Covid stuff is pretty much over now, is everyone that was receiving money because of the Covid layoffs no longer receiving that money?