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New jobless claims decline nationwide and in Florida

'We might be getting to a better place right now'
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Posted at 5:22 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 00:01:57-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — New data from the US Department of Labor shows declines in new jobless claims last week.

Nationwide, nearly 1.2 million filed for benefits, the third straight week the number went down, but also the 20th straight week it was more than a million.

In Florida, 73,955 filed new claims, down 17,000 from the previous week.

"We might be getting to a better place right now," said Mark Hamrick, senior economist at Bankrate.com. "One way to look at this is we recovered about one-third of the jobs that have been lost since this pandemic and lockdown began."

Despite the lower numbers, millions still remain out of work and thousands continue to struggle in Florida with the state's unemployment system.

"There are still people applying who actually have gotten nothing from the system," said state Sen. Lori Berman. "I sense from the beginning we're going to have to scrap the system. It's held together with Band-Aids and rubber bands."

Federal unemployment payments of $600 a week ended the last week of July and Congress is still debating over restoring some benefits for the unemployed.

“Congress, I think, unfortunately for the American people, has dropped the ball here," said Hamrick. "It does seem as each hour and day goes by there is an increased sense of urgency."