The last day of 2020 ends with the bad news that 787,000 people applied for unemployment assistance last week, the Labor Ministry reported on Thursday.
Miami World / AP
The figure is 19,000 less than reported the week before, and lower than the 828,000 economists surveyed by Dow Jones had predicted.
As of December 19, the number of unemployed receiving the subsidy for more than a week has fallen (-103,000) to 5,219,000, with figures up to December 19.
The Labor Department reported that there were 803,000 claims for unemployment assistance during the week ending December 19, a lower figure (-89,000) than the previous week.
Economists polled by Dow Jones expected initial claims to reach 888,000.
He also indicated that during the week of December 12, the number of beneficiaries of this subsidy decreased (-170,000) to 5.3 million unemployed benefiting from insurance for more than a week.
In all, 20.4 million Americans were receiving some form of unemployment benefits as of Dec. 5, according to the report.
Data from last week is a little more encouraging than at the start of the month, but it remains very high compared to pre-pandemic levels, as the country finds itself in what should be the hiring time of the companies on the occasion of traditional festivals.
The weekly number of claims for unemployment benefits averaged 205,000 procedures for several months, until the end of February the impact of the pandemic on the labor market began to be felt.
In the last week of March, the government received 6.8 million grant applications, as the economy slowed with the closure of businesses, shops, bars and restaurants and activity in educational institutions almost completely ceased.
In March, Congress approved and President Donald Trump approved an economic stimulus package that included a program of temporary unemployment benefits for self-employed workers and entrepreneurs who are not covered by conventional benefits.
The program, which distributed 600 dollars and benefited more than 16 million workers, expired at the end of July, without an extension of aid to these unemployed having been approved.
After months of negotiations, the US Congress on Monday approved a second stimulus package worth $ 900 billion, which includes a benefit of $ 300 per week for every unemployed person.
However, the outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump, threatened Tuesday to block this stimulus package, estimating that direct transfers of money to taxpayers with annual incomes of less than $ 75,000 should increase from 600 to 2,000 dollars.
The general unemployment rate in the United States, which had risen to 14% in April, fell almost month-over-month and stood at 6.7 in November.