A week after initial claims for unemployment benefits fell below 1 million per week for the first time in five months, claims again jumped over the 1 million threshold for the week ending on Aug. 15.
According to new figures released by the Department of Labor Thursday, 1.1 million people filed initial claims for unemployment last week, an increase of about 200,000 claims over the previous week.
Despite a slight recent dropoff in unemployment filings, weekly figures continue to exceed the pre-pandemic record of 700,000 in a single week.
In addition, lawmakers have yet to strike a deal to replace increased $600 weekly unemployment checks, which expired in July. In May, the Democrats passed the HEROES Act through the House of Representatives, which would have extended the benefits through the end of the year and expanded them to include more people. The Republican-controlled Senate has not considered the bill.
Senate Republicans began circulating a new COVID-19 stimulus package this week that would include a $300 a week unemployment benefit. However, the plan likely won't be adopted any time soon — Congress has been adjourned for its annual summer break until early September.