The number of workers continually claiming unemployment insurance also rose, by about 867,000 workers to 17 million for the week ending July 18, up from 16.1 million for the week ending July 11. That statistic lags by a week.
Another 830,000 new claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the benefits offered to gig and self-employed workers.
The numbers come as the extra $600 in federal unemployment benefits is set to expire, which many economists have credited with shoring up the economy during the crisis. Republicans and Democrats are wrangling over how much of that money to reauthorize; Democrats want the full $600 extended through January, while some Republicans have proposed reducing it to $200 a week.
Companies that have announced layoffs in recent weeks include biotech firm Genentech, ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, truck manufacturers McNeilus, Bon Appétit Management Company, which provides food service at sports stadiums and arenas in California, museums like the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and many casinos.
The head of the Federal Reserve Jerome H. Powell said on Wednesday that top Fed leaders have noted weakness in the labor market in July, especially among those who work for small businesses, due in part to rising cases of the coronavirus in some parts of the country.