First-Time Jobless Claims Leap Above 1 Million Again

While many were hopeful that the U.S. jobs market was on the road to recovery, new numbers show that another 1 million Americans filed initial jobless claims.

unemployment aug

Image via Getty/ Spencer Platt

unemployment aug

An additional 1.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The new numbers dampened hopes that the U.S. would see a second-straight week where claims were below one million. CNN Business reports that economists were confident that the U.S. jobs market was on the path to recovery, as claims from the previous week dipped below one million, the first time since March.

First-time claim benefits from last week came to 891,510; additionally, claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program climbed to 542,797. Those numbers combined show that first-time claims amounted to 1.4 million for that week, which means America’s jobs resurgence has slowed down this month. 

However, the setback by initial claims numbers was offset by a dip in continued jobless claims, which counts those who file for regular claims at least two weeks in a row. That number decreased to 14.8 million, the lowest it’s been since the first week of April.

Overall, almost 28.1 million Americans claimed benefits from different government programs in the week ending Aug. 1, which is about 200,000 fewer than the previous week. And to make matters worse, people are no longer receiving the $600 weekly check from the CARES Act, which ended in late July. Benefit claims have now returned to their normal amount.

At this moment, Congress has also not decided on a new stimulus deal, and Trump has signed an executive action to give an additional $300 per week by reallocating disaster relief money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Iowa, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Utah, Colorado, and Missouri have applied for the funding, but because it comes from a different governmental organization, it could take weeks to reach people’s wallets.

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