New York- The United States job market continues to struggle, and Wednesday brought more bad news. Another 886,000 citizens filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the last week—an addition from the week prior and higher than the 810,000 claims that economists were predicting.
The new figures, which are modified for seasonal factors and according to the Labour Department, are specifically bleak since last week’s numbers were revised up to 860,000. And that week was the highest since mid-September, even before the revision.
In the last five weeks, this was the fourth time that first-time claims increased from the previous week. And now about 20.6 million citizens have filed for some type of government unemployment benefits in the past four weeks. That’s an addition of approximately 1.6 million from a week before.
More than 14 million, of the total, had filed for help as part of the government’s COVID-19 unemployment programs. These programs are about to expire at the end of the year unless the authorities extend them.
Investors and economists are excited about the possibility for a comeback in 2021 now that there is an FDA approved coronavirus vaccine available, that a few people have already received. But several of the Americans still need help, said Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell.
“Though there is some progress in the labour market since summers, we will not ignore millions of citizens who remain out of work,” Powell said in a press conference.
It will be critical for the White House and Congress to act soon, others say.
An economist with Indeed Hiring Lab, AnnElizabeth Konkel, said in a report, “It’s evident that Coronavirus is still destroying America’s economy in real-time. About 1.4 million, total first-claims are over five times higher than during the pre-pandemic era.”
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