Florida’s new jobless claims dropped as the U.S. Department of Labor released new data this week. The numbers showed 7,713 new jobless claims were filed as of September 25, however the same metric is down to 6,509 as of October 2.

When the COVID-induced economic slowdown began in March and April 2020, the jobless claims were much higher, but since May 2021, the state has averaged just below 8,000 new jobless claims per week.

The new data comes as the hotel industry in Florida has been clamoring for more bailout money to cover the costs of workers during the national labor shortage.

“The labor crunch has made affording talent a goal,” said Lisa Lombardo, chief people and culture officer for HDG hotels. “It might seem as though hotels are packed in some markets. And it’s hard to find rooms in some markets. But we know of friends in the industry who are closing down entire floors of their hotels because there aren’t team members to clean the entire hotel, to prepare that hotel for what we hope will be the return of business.”

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) said last month the hotel industry in Florida is projected to end down nearly 61 percent in business travel revenue compared to pre-COVID numbers. The reduced revenue is equivalent to approximately $5.3 billion lost.

“Florida is a top destination for national and international business travel, and our hotels and restaurants rely on that revenue,” said Carol Dover, president and CEO of FRLA. “While leisure travel returned this year – in some regions higher than even 2019’s record figures – business travel still remains down overall, and Florida is projected to end 2021 with the second highest losses in the nation, behind only the state of California. We continue to advocate for hotel relief so that our industry can recover, support and employ our team members, and create those wonderful guest experiences we are known for worldwide.”

Lombardo’s comments echoed the FRLA in calling on Congress to aid the hotel industry in a full bailout.

Florida Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) filed the Save Hotel Jobs Act back in May, but the legislation has not been acted on per the discretion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12).

According to the same data, the nationwide new jobless claims also fell by approximately 38,000, down to 326,000 Americans filing.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.