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Florida unemployment claims down last week

FILE - In this, Wednesday, May 6, 2020 photo, a now hiring sign is displayed on a street corner in North Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – First-time unemployment claims fell in Florida last week, while the U.S. Department of Labor also vastly reduced its estimate of claims for the prior week.

The department reported Thursday an estimated 26,559 new unemployment claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Jan. 16. That is roughly the same weekly pace the state has seen since mid-November as it continues to slog through the coronavirus pandemic.

The department had initially projected that Florida drew 75,444 claims during the week that ended Jan. 9, which was the first full week of the new year and followed a round of layoffs scheduled at Walt Disney properties. The estimate was the highest for a single week since mid-August. But with the numbers released Thursday, the department revised its Florida figures for the week ending Jan. 9 to 30,583 claims.

The department often makes revisions as it updates backlogged state data.

The agency also reduced its national estimate of 965,000 claims for the week ending Jan. 9 to 926,000. It projected 900,000 new claims nationally during the week that ended Jan. 16.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will issue a December unemployment report on Friday. Florida had a 6.4 percent unemployment rate in November, representing 651,000 people out of work.