The number of people newly asking for unemployment in Tennessee jumped dramatically last week, with more than 16,000 filings. That’s the highest number of people putting in an initial claim since late July.
It follows the passage of a new relief package that will supplement Tennessee’s unemployment payments with an extra $300. For the past several months, the maximum amount of money people could receive from the state was $275 per week.
The state’s weekly statistics don’t suggest why unemployment filings increase. New claims have been climbing for weeks, and have more than tripled since late November.
The state did pay out a portion of the claims last week. For much of 2020, it had been relying on money from the CARES Act to distribute unemployment payments, rather than using the state’s unemployment trust fund.
Shelby County leads the state in new initial claims, with more than 3,000 people asking for help last week. Statewide, nearly a million claims have been filed since the start of the pandemic.