Florida’s weekly employment data remains skewed as the state continues to deal with a surge in fraudulent claims.
Thursday, the state’s unemployment dashboard showed it was still processing a backlog of 41,524 claims flagged as potentially fraudulent, a figure well above the approximately 21,000 it noted one week ago.
In January, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which compiles and submits the weekly claims data to the U.S. Department of Labor, began to see an unexpected surge in new claims filed.
Subsequently, it began reporting claims data higher than any seen in months.
A DEO spokesperson confirmed to the Miami Herald earlier this month that many of the claims seen in the surge were likely fraudulent — though could not say precisely how many — and that the agency was implementing new measures to mitigate false-claim filings.
On Feb. 11, DEO said it was still working through the logistics of integrating its identity verification tool to the state’s CONNECT filing system.
DEO is asking anyone aware of an instance of unemployment assistance application fraud, or who believes they are a victim of identity theft related to a jobless claim, to visit the department’s Reemployment Assistance Fraud page at floridajobs.org (click on “Online Fraud Form”).