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Jobless claims slightly above pre-Hurricane Ian pace

TALLAHASSEE - Florida had an estimated 6,145 unemployment claims last week, a number slightly above the pace before Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida. 

A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor said the 6,145 claims during the week that ended Nov. 19 were up from a revised count of 6,110 claims during the week that ended Nov. 12. 

The state hit 14,934 claims the week after the Category 4 Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28 in Lee and Charlotte counties. 

The state has had an estimated 63,082 claims in the seven weeks since the storm, an average of 9,012 a week. 

In the seven weeks before Ian, Florida averaged 5,606 new claims. 

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday said the state had a 2.7 percent unemployment rate in October, up from a historic low of 2.5 percent in September. 

The October numbers showed an estimated 285,000 Floridians qualified as unemployed from a workforce of 10.75 million. 

Nationally, 240,000 new claims were filed last week, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week.

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