December 10, 2020 6:36 PM | With information from EFE
15 minutes. The weekly number of applications for unemployment benefits in the US jumped to 853,000 last week compared to 716,000 the previous week, amid the rebound in COVID-19 cases in the country, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
It is the first time since the last week of September that the number of applications for unemployment benefits passed the 850,000 mark. In fact, the data shows the weakness of the US labor market affected by the pandemic.
The layoffs that raised the number of unemployed occurred even when the country has already entered the shopping season for traditional festivals, during which in normal times the hiring of personnel in stores increases.
The government report showed that in the week ending November 28, there were 5.75 million people receiving conventional unemployment benefit compared to 5.52 million the week before.
The average number of requests in four weeks, a measure that compensates for weekly variations, was 776,000 until last week compared to 740,000 in the previous week.
The weekly number of requests for unemployment benefit in the US had an average of 205,000 procedures for several months. However, at 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 requests for the benefit. At the same time, the economy slowed down with the closure of businesses, shops, bars and restaurants, and activity in schools almost completely ceased.
In March, Congress approved and President Donald Trump signed into law an economic stimulus package. This included a temporary unemployment benefit program for independent workers and contractors who are not covered by the conventional benefit.
That program distributed $ 600 a week and benefited more than 16 million workers. However, it expired at the end of July and Congress and the president they still cannot agree on an extension of aid to these unemployed.
The general unemployment rate, which rose to 14% in April, declined month by month, reaching 6.7 in November.