The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new coronavirus stimulus package. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000.
Continuing claims, which refer to those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, declined by 636,000 to 14.844 million in the week ending Aug. 8. The continuing claims data series is delayed by one week. But new filings have stayed far above any level recorded before the pandemic despite steadily falling from their peak of 6.8 million. The latest figures show roughly 57.4 million initial claims filed since mid-March — more than the combined populations of Texas and Florida.
BREAKING: U.S. weekly jobless claims total 1.106 million, vs 923,000 expected https://t.co/U2FDcBekA3
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) August 20, 2020
JUST IN: Another 1.1 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, dashing economists’ hopes for a second-straight week with fewer than 1 million claims. https://t.co/DQtNDnQj9X
— CNN (@CNN) August 20, 2020