More than 840,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims last week as lawmakers agreed on a stimulus deal. Meanwhile, Goggle searches for “file for unemployment” soared.

The total number of new unemployment claims dropped for the second consecutive week, last week, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor. A total of 841,111 Americans filed a new unemployment claim last week, down 31,736 from the previous week.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Americans filed 787,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week but still historically high for weekly claims. The week included the Christmas holiday.

Despite the dip, Goggle searches for “file for unemployment” are spiking, a sign that claims could be increasing in the new year, according to Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist at the University of Minnesota.

The number of continued claims for the week ending December 12 was reported at 19.6 million, compared to just 1.8 million the same week in 2019.

The new numbers come less than a week after Congress agreed on a COVID-19 stimulus deal, which continues to expand unemployment to freelancers and boost the state-led programs by an additional $300 per week.

The bill, which was signed Sunday by President Donald Trump, also includes $600 stimulus checks, an extension of the eviction moratorium and rental assistance.

Email Patrick Kearns

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