Another 1.43 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending July 25, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's weekly unemployment report—the 19th straight week the number of jobless Americans exceeded 1 million. The rise in jobless claims also comes as the federal $600-per-week unemployment payments are scheduled to end Aug. 1, with no plans to extend them.

Florida reported 87,062 new claims this week, for a total of 1.81 million since the pandemic began. In Sarasota-Manatee, more than 68,000 workers filed unemployment claims from March through mid-July, according the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity—more than 18 percent of the labor force.

The U.S. Commerce Department also said Thursday gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 9.5 percent in the second quarter, which translates to annual rate of decline of 32.9 percent. Both numbers are historic lows. And, the Herald-Tribune reported Thursday, Sarasota-Manatee took a $3.7 billion hit during the second quarter from the loss of economic activity due to COVID-19—a more than 40 percent decline in GDP.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order extending the moratorium on mortgage foreclosure and eviction relief through Sept. 1. The order offers Floridians another month of relief as as the state set daily COVID-19 death records three days in a row this week and leads the country in new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. 

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