Jobless claims rise as state numbers show hardest hit areas

Video: Jobless claims rise as state numbers show hardest hit areas

ORLANDO, Fla. — Initial jobless claims were filed by 1.43 million Americans last week, an increase of 12,000 from the prior week, marking the second straight week of growing jobless claims.

In Florida, the jobless numbers are predominantly centered around one industry hit especially hard by COVID-19, hotel and hospitality.

According to documents filed with the state, 14,220 workers in the accommodation and food service industry were laid off in the month of July, the most of any industry.

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“You have a lot of hotels that are technically open but are operating at low capacity right now,” said Chip Rogers of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. “If you look at March first this year and you compare it to today there are more than 50% of people who were working March first are not working today in our industry.”

In a recent nationwide survey, AHLA found 87% of hotels had been forced to lay off or furlough staff because of COVID-19, with 36% unable to bring back any of their furloughed or laid off workers back to full-time employment, and just 37% of hotels able to bring back at least half their full-time employees.

“As you were looking at it right now people are not coming to the state as they typically would,” Rogers said.