TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Weekly unemployment claims dropped 14,000 in the last week of October, making the seasonally adjusted unemployment claims the lowest they’ve been since March 2020, at the start of the pandemic. The news comes as Florida continues to show strong economic growth, especially compared to other states.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the October 2021 unemployment data this morning, showing the weekly claims submitted across the United States. For the week ending October 30, there were 269,000 unemployment insurance claims. The previous week was recorded as 283,000 claims, according to BLS.

The drop in numbers last week made the four-week moving average unemployment claims hit 284,750, another marked decrease. It was 15,000 less than the week before. BLS says that makes it the lowest level for the average since March 14, 2020, when the four-week moving average was 225,000.

The decrease in unemployment insurance claims follows a weaker monthly jobs report from September. The October Employment Situation report will be released Nov. 5, which will provide a more current indication of how the U.S. economy is faring heading into the 2021 holiday season.

The unemployment rate in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro was 3.9 percent, tied with Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro for the 19th lowest unemployment rank in the country.

The unemployment rate in the Tampa area was lower than the state average of 4.9 percent, and the national unemployment rate of 5 percent. The strong economic showing across Florida came with the report that of the new jobs added in September 2021, 43 percent were in Florida alone.

Tampa had the most job gains in the state in September, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The national unemployment rate for the previous week, ending Oct. 23 was 1.6 percent, seasonally adjusted.

According to the BLS data, when compared to the prior year, the same weekly unemployment numbers were recorded as 765,000 across the U.S.

In Florida, BLS reported 8,788 initial claims were filed in the week ending Oct. 23. There were 1,307 more claims than the week before, but 24,754 claims fewer than the prior year. Those numbers, however, are not seasonally adjusted.