Florida unemployment hits 14.5% in coronavirus’ wake

A sign advertises burgers and beer available for takeout at Lokal Restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic in Miami. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida’s unemployment rate jumped higher in May, hitting a record 14.5% as the state continued reeling from the economic shutdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, Florida’s unemployment rate jumped slightly from the 13.8% figure in April.

Before the coronavirus hit and devastated the state’s tourism, retail and other industries, February’s unemployment rate had been 2.8%.

Florida has shed about 850,000 jobs compared to May 2019.

The state’s unemployment is at levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Before April, the highest unemployment Florida had seen since World War II had been 11.3% in early 2010.