USA: Unemployment benefit claims drop slightly this week

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to severely condition the provision of the North American economy, which keeps weekly unemployment benefit claims close to 1 million, well above what was recorded before the disease arrived in the country.

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Initial claims for unemployment benefits in the United States dropped to 900 in the week ending January 16, after the maximum of several months recorded in the previous week, when the indicator reached 926.

The data released this Thursday by the US Department of Labor are slightly below Wall Street forecasts, set at 925, according to CNBC.

The US economy thus continues to suffer from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to severe restrictions on activity in most states, at a time when the country is recording new highs. This week the 400 deaths related to the disease have been exceeded since the first case diagnosed in American territory.

In the week ended 9 January, there were still 5,054 million payment subsidies, a reduction compared to the 5,181 million registered in the previous week, a downward revision from the 5,271 million initially announced.

The pandemic assistance scheme also applied for about 424 thousand workers, a substantial increase when compared to the previous week, when 285 thousand people asked for this federal support. The social scheme covers workers who do not qualify for unemployment benefit, including those who have already exhausted it or self-employed workers.

With the investiture of Joe Biden, the expectation is that new support for the American economy will be approved, including an increase in the amount paid by the federal government to families. This forecast is supported by the new Democratic majority in Congress, which should give the green light to the president's plan to send an additional $ 1.400 (1.153,51 euros) in addition to the $ 600 (494,28 euros) already approved, as well as more support for small and medium-sized enterprises.

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