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Unemployment insurance benefits totaled $108.4 billion for the month, according to data released this week by the U.S. Treasury Department. So far this year, the government has paid $267.2 billion in benefits.
In May, unemployment insurance benefits were around $93.6 billion – while they were $46.5 billion in April.
Unless the measure is extended, the expanded benefits are scheduled to expire at the end of July. Republicans have expressed hesitation to continue the policy, which some lawmakers believe discourages people from going out to obtain new employment. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that providing basic protections for the unemployed is “extremely important” as lawmakers consider another stimulus package.
About 47 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims since mid-March.
The government will give an updated reading this week on the state of the labor market when it releases the June employment report Thursday.