Virus Outbreak Unemployment

Drivers pass a sign outside the Kimmins Contracting Corp. on Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Tampa, Fla.

(The Center Square) – Unemployment claims in Florida for the week ending March 21 jumped 1,045 percent from the previous week as employers and employees continue to feel the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

According to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor, initial unemployment claims in Florida for the week ending March 21 were 74,021, up 67,558 from the 6,463 claims filed the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment claims in the U.S. for the week were a record 3.3 million – up 3 million from the previous week. The total represents the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims ever. The previous high was 695,000 in October 1982.

"This large increase in unemployment claims was not unexpected, and results from the recognition by Americans across the country that we have had to temporarily halt certain activities in order to defeat the coronavirus," U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said.

Regional Editor

Jason Schaumburg is an award-winning, veteran editor who has been a journalist for more than 20 years. He spent a decade as the top editor in three northern Illinois newsrooms for Shaw Media and Pioneer Press.