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First-time unemployment claims rise in Florida

April 16, 2020 - The number of Floridians filing for unemployment insurance for the first time continues to grow amid the Covid-19 virus pandemic. For the week ended April 11, 181,293 people in Florida filed initial claims, the U.S. Department of Labor said. That was an increase of 11,408 people from the prior week. Over the past four weeks, 652,199 Floridians have filed first-time unemployment claims, Labor Department numbers show. However, there have been widely reported problems with the state's system for filing unemployment claims, suggesting the jobless number may be higher than official statistics indicate. Nationally, 22 million jobless claims have been filed in the last four weeks, including 5.2 million Americans who filed first-time claims in the week ended April 11. The national unemployment rate for April is expected to exceed 15 percent, when it is released on May 8, according to a report from Wells Fargo Securities. "The peak of new claims appears to have passed, meaning focus will now shift to the duration of unemployment," the Wells Fargo report said.

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