New jobless claims hit 1.4 million for the week ending July 18, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.
It’s the first time jobless claims increased week over week since reaching a mid-pandemic high of 6 million in early April and the 15th straight week in which jobless claims topped 1 million.
The increase in adjusted initial claims was up 109,000 from the previous week’s level, as states struggle to get the spreading COVID-19 virus under control.
Continuing claims continued to fall, however, dropping slightly, to 16.2 million.
Daniel Zhao, an economist and data scientist at Glassdoor, wrote on Twitter that the numbers of claims remain unbearably high.
Another 1.4 million Americans filed for UI (SA) last week, the 1st increase in 16 wks. Continuing claims fell modestly to 16.2 million. Both fell on a NSA basis.
Overall, story is still that UI claims remain unbearably high w/ only small signs of improvement#joblessclaims 1/ pic.twitter.com/cQD6AbwHWK
— Daniel Zhao (@DanielBZhao) July 23, 2020
The new claims also come as the U.S. Senate debates more COVID-19 financial relief for Americans, as the additional $600 in weekly federal unemployment — passed as part of the CARES Act — is set to expire.