Unemployment Benefits: Another 78,877,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week.

It showed a decline from the previous week and was slightly better than economists had predicted. However, the claims were three and a half times higher than in the same period last year. Overall, unemployment claims remain well above historic historical norms, indicating ongoing pain in the job market during the coronavirus epidemic.

According to Nancy Vanden Houghton, a U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, claims of holidays and uncertainty about the expansion of benefits in the new year could be made last week.

In addition to regular job claims, another 308,262 workers applied for assistance under the Epidemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provides benefits to people who are not eligible for regular state assistance, such as self-employment and gig workers.

Together, 1.1 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, not adjustments for seasonal swings.

“While the decline in total initial claims is moving in the right direction, they have not fallen below one million since the onset of this crisis,” E. Elizabeth Conkle, an economist at Hiring Labs, said in an emailed comment.

PUA payments will be boosted by a new stimulus deal signed into law by President Donald Trump on Sunday. The bill would also increase regular state benefits by state 300 per week.

Meanwhile, .2.5 million workers continued their second week, or the second week of its regular state unemployment benefits, with claims ending December 19. On top of this, another 4.8 million people were paid under the Epidemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program on December 12, which provides benefits when workers have exhausted their state benefits.

In the week ended December 12, a total of 19.6 million Americans applied for some benefits for employment.

These 20 states will raise their minimum wages by January 1

In the ten months since the epidemic, millions of workers have relied on government payments even after losing their livelihoods in the crisis. For those lucky enough to return to work, fewer hours and wages are also a concern.

While the turn of the year and the new stimulus package may give reason to be optimistic, the U.S. job market still has a long way to go from its pre-epidemic strength.

“While the prospects for the economy are booming in 2021, the economy and the labor market will have to navigate through some difficult terrain now and then, and we expect claims to be uplifting,” Vanden Huten told customers. Written in the note.