The Department of Labor reported Thursday that over 1.4 million Americans filed additional claims for unemployment last week, marking the first weekly increase in new claims since March.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment had been declining each week before mid-July, but the Thursday report marks the 18th week in a row that unemployment claims have been above one million, CNBC reported.
Total new jobless claims for the week ending July 18 rose by 109,000 from the previous, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics release.
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 23, 2020
California, Florida and Georgia were the states with the largest increases in number of claims, while Maryland, Texas and New Jersey had the largest decrease in claims, according to the Department of Labor report.
The increase comes as the $600-per-week unemployment benefits are set to expire on July 31, risking the financial security of millions of Americans. (RELATED: There’s No Clear Path For Congress To Extend Coronavirus Relief)
Despite the deadline being a week away, senate Republicans released their initial stimulus just this morning, and a bipartisan plan has not been agreed to so far, CNBC reported.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Thursday morning that future unemployment benefits would be targeted to 70% of a recipient’s wages, though Democrats, who want the weekly $600 extended through the end of the year, may object to the measure.
The report also comes as cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in states across the country, increasing the chances that some states may temporary close businesses once again. Several states in the south and western U.S. have reported over 10,000 new cases daily, while over 142,000 Americans have died from the virus, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.