New initial unemployment claims topped 1 million for the 15th straight week.

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.

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.


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