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.
Last week’s spike in claims came as Democrats and Republicans struggle to move forward on a new coronavirus stimulus bill. Democratic lawmakers want to keep an additional unemployment benefit of $600 per week that was included in previous aid package. Republicans, meanwhile, have indicated they want to extend the additional benefit at a lower rate.
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