July 16 (UPI) -- The Labor Department said in its weekly assessment Thursday that 1.3 million more American workers have filed for unemployment benefits.
The report said claims showed a decrease of 10,000, putting the unemployment rate at 11.9%.
Thursday's report also revised down last week's report by 4,000 claims.
Most analysts had expected 1.25 million new claims.
Thursday marked the 15th consecutive week initial claims declined. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 50 million U.S. workers have filed for unemployment, although many have since returned to jobs.
Thursday's report said continuing claims, which lag initial claims by one week, were at 17.3 million.
Economists continue to keep a close eye on figures for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which covers "gig economy" workers and others who don't qualify for regular state unemployment programs.
Unlike the traditional programs, the number of PUA applications has increased in each of the last four weeks. Around 1 million claims PUA were filed for week ending July 4.