States reported that 900,000 U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending Jan. 16, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The total number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits fell to 5 million. About 16 million people are receiving some type of unemployment aid.
Initial unemployment claims are just under a five-month high, as labor market seasonality factors coincide with a spike in coronavirus cases. The Biden administration unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal last week, which called for an extension of federal unemployment programs beyond their current spring expiration date, and an increase to weekly unemployment benefits.