Photo: Bridget Bennett/AFP via Getty Images

New applications for unemployment bumped higher last week, after jobless claims filings steadily dropped in recent weeks, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Why it matters: Economists are hesitant to draw too many conclusions about the broader economy from this week's higher filings alone, but they're watching for worsening effects on the labor market as Congress' stimulus negotiations stall.

  • Unemployment applications still remain higher than any point in U.S. history before the pandemic.

By the numbers: Regular state unemployment applications totaled 891,510, roughly 53,000 more filings than the prior week.

  • Add in the 542,000 additional applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which offers benefits to gig workers and the self-employed, and the number of total new applications rises to 1.4 million.
  • Worth noting: Accounting for seasonal factors — which can distort the data during an unprecedented period of unemployment filings — regular state unemployment applications totaled 1.1 million.

What to watch: Over 28 million people were collecting some form of unemployment as of August 1, when the $600-a-week enhanced unemployment benefit expired.

  • Congress hasn't made progress on legislation that would provide an additional financial cushion for those relying on unemployment benefits.
  • President Trump signed an executive memo allowing states to tap disaster relief funds to provide an extra $300 in unemployment benefits, but so far only a few states signaled they will move forward to distribute those payments. Even then, it could take several weeks for their residents to receive the extra funds.

Go deeper

DeSantis to end federal unemployment program, saying Florida can't afford it

Trump speaks with DeSantis at Palm Beach International Airport, Florida, Sept. 8. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) plans to terminate a Trump program that supports unemployment benefits for out-of-work Floridians because the state's jobless program doesn't have the resources to qualify for the federal assistance, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Florida is among the first states to stop the program because of the cost. The state doesn't pay its unemployed workers enough to meet the 25% matching requirement, so people will lose out on an extra $300 a week made possible by President Trump's executive order, Politico notes.

Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America’s rapid and urgent transition to online school has come with a host of unforeseen consequences that are only getting worse as it continues into the fall.

The big picture: The issues range from data privacy to plagiarism, and schools are ill-equipped to deal with them, experts say.