The number of applications for unemployment benefits in the United States has increased sharply

Last week, 965,000 people applied for benefits.

The number of applications for unemployment benefits in the United States rose sharply last week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Last week, 965,000 people applied for benefits, which is 181,000 more than the revised figure for the week before last. This is the highest figure in several weeks. Last week, it was reported that in December, American employers cut 140,000 jobs. This is the first decline in growth in the labor market since the outbreak of the pandemic in March-April last year.

Until last week, the number of applications for benefits had held steady in the range of 700,000 to 800,000, well below the record 6.9 million recorded at the end of March last year.

The government has started paying $ 300 a week in federal allowances. This program is designed for 11 weeks. President-elect Joe Biden may unveil a new economic aid package as part of his plan to fight the coronavirus, which he will announce on Thursday.

About 10 million of the 22 million Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic remain unemployed. The unemployment rate stood at 6.7 percent in November, and many economists say the rate could remain elevated for several months.

Meanwhile, economists expect the economic recovery to gain momentum in the second half of 2021, thanks to adopting a December stimulus package and the start of vaccination.

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