Tennessee jobless claims remain high as unemployment benefits are cut

Domino's, Amazon, VW, other Chattanooga-area employers hiring amid coronavirus pandemic

Photo by Dave Flessner / Despite continued high rates of jobless claims, some area employers like Dominos are hiring. The pizza chain is hiring 250 workers for its 21 stores in the Chattanooga area.

The number of unemployed workers filing initial claims remained elevated last week even as federal supplements paid to many jobless Tennesseans began to expire.

As a result, unemployment benefits paid to Tennesseans looking for work fell to the lowest level in six months last week and will likely drop even more in the coming month unless Congress restores more federal assistance.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 884,000 Americans, including 11,706 in Tennessee, lost their jobs and filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week, unchanged from the previous week and higher than any week prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Including self-employed workers eligible for relief under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, 1. 7 million Americans sought new jobless benefits last week, up from 1.6