The number of Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits last week remained steady at 787,000 as a new round of $300 additional weekly payments kicked in as part of the coronavirus aid package that was passed late last month.
The $900 million coronavirus relief package signed by the president on December 27 added a $300-peer-week unemployment benefit supplement for those receiving weekly benefits, in addition to extending two other pandemic-specific programs currently being used about 13 million Americans.
Throughout the fall and winter months, unemployment claims have remained near the 800,000 mark, according to the Department of Labor’s weekly reports.
One economist told the Wall Street Journal that the country’s current economic outlook will depend on the mad dash between the speed of vaccination distribution and the rate of further infection.
On Friday, the Labor Department will release a more detailed report examining the December jobs numbers. A 50,000 jobs gain is expected, which would be the smallest figure since April.