Unemployment Claims Stay Excessive as Hundreds of thousands Nonetheless Battle to Discover Work

For many people, the economy will not improve noticeably for at least a few months. Ms Swonk expects attitudes to remain unchanged or decrease in December compared to November.


Jan. 2, 2021, 8:00 p.m. ET

“The entire labor market loses momentum at a critical point when cases rise,” she said.

Seasonally adjusted, the number of new government claims was 787,000, down from 806,000 the previous week.

The second stimulus

Answers to your questions about the stimulus calculation

Updated December 30, 2020

The Economic Aid Package will issue payments of $ 600 and provide federal unemployment benefits of $ 300 for a minimum of 10 weeks. Find out more about the measure and what’s in it for you. For more information on how to get help, please visit our hub.

    • Do I get another incentive payment? Individual adults with adjusted gross income on their 2019 tax return of up to $ 75,000 per year will receive a payment of $ 600, and a couple (or someone whose spouse died in 2020) who earns up to $ 150,000 per year receives twice this amount. There is also a payment of $ 600 for each child for families who meet these income requirements. Individuals filing taxes with head of household status and earning up to $ 112,500 will also receive $ 600 plus the additional amount for children. People with incomes just above this level will receive a partial payment that decreases by $ 5 for every $ 100 of income.
    • When could my payment arrive? The finance department said on December 29 that it had started making direct deposits and would be mailing checks the next day. However, it will take a while for everyone to receive their money.
    • Does the agreement concern unemployment insurance? Legislators agreed to extend the length of time people can receive unemployment benefits and restart an additional federal benefit that is on top of the usual state benefits. But instead of $ 600 a week it would be $ 300. That will last until March 14th.
    • I am behind on my rent or expect to be soon. Do I get relief? The deal calls for $ 25 billion to be distributed by state and local governments to help backward tenants. In order to receive support, households must meet various conditions: the household income (for 2020) must not exceed 80 percent of the area median income; At least one household member must be at risk of homelessness or residential instability. and individuals must be eligible for unemployment benefits or face direct or indirect financial difficulties due to the pandemic. The agreement states that priority will be given to support for lower-income families who have been unemployed for three months or more.

Tighter state and local restrictions on restaurants and other businesses will weigh heavily on the labor market in the coming weeks, said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco.

Mr. Anderson believes the monthly employment report will show the unemployment rate rose from 6.7 percent in November to 6.9 percent in December. The unemployment rate has fallen sharply from its high of 14.7 percent in April, but hiring has slowed as the economy has stalled in recent months.

The economy may have only created about 20,000 jobs in December, said Rubeela Farooqi, US chief economist at High Frequency Economics. That would mean a “huge slowdown from last month,” she added, as the wage bill rose 245,000.

Additionally, the pace of layoffs has remained high as industries like hospitality, travel, and entertainment struggle with the pandemic keeping many people at home, even in states and cities that haven’t placed many restrictions on businesses. In contrast, many employees who were able to work remotely emerged relatively unscathed from the economic turmoil.

The introduction of vaccines is a bright spot, as are positive economic signs such as rising stock prices and a booming real estate market. But it will be months before enough Americans can be vaccinated so that people can go to restaurants, events, and movie theaters without fear of infection.

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