Initial unemployment claims ticked down slightly last week to 1.48 million, higher than economists had been anticipating, the Department of Labor reported Thursday. More than 30 million Americans were receiving benefits from all programs for the week that ended June 6, up about 1.3 million from the previous week.

Last year at this time, fewer than 1.55 million people were claiming benefits.

It was the second week the numbers came in higher than had been expected, Bloomberg reported, although they were down for the 12th straight week from a peak of 10 million weekly claims. Economists had been expecting filings to fall to 1.32 million with 20 million continuing claims.

More than 45 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic pushed the economy into recession.

Unemployment expert Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, said the numbers show the economy still is reeling from the COVID-19 crisis and urged Congress to enact another round of relief.

“Today’s data puts into sharper focus the positive effect of the $600 per week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits,” Stettner said in an email to International Business Times. “The latest Treasury Department data found that in the week ending June 13, $25 billion in benefits was paid out, and up to two-thirds of this unprecedented total is due to PUC alone.”

Those benefits are set to expire July 26. senior analyst Mark Hamrick noted the current economic crisis far eclipses the Great Recession, which was considered the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

“As we prepare to put the disastrous second quarter and its expected annualized contraction of an estimated 30 percent behind us, an uncertain outlook remains,” with a medical solution to the pandemic the only way forward, he told IBTimes.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised upward the total number of filings from the week ended June 6 to 1.54 million while the four-week moving average was lower by 160,750 at 1.62 million.

BLS estimated the unemployment rate last week at 13.4%, nearly even with the rate for May and down a half point from the previous week’s revised 13.9% rate.

The number of federal government civilian employees filing for initial benefits totaled 1,696, bringing the total to 15,339, along with 1,194 claims filed by newly discharged veterans, bringing that total to 12,483.

More than 11 million people claimed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in 46 states while 851,983 claimed Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation in 38 states for the week that ended June 6.

Unemployment was highest in Nevada, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, New York and California, with the largest increases in new claims filed in Oklahoma, Texas, New Jersey, New York and Louisiana. Claims fell by the most in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, California and Michigan.