icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

US unemployment remains sky-high as cuts to benefits loom

US unemployment remains sky-high as cuts to benefits loom
US unemployment numbers remain perilously high following the inauguration of President Biden, who has promised to “shut down” Covid-19 without shutting down the economy even as jobless benefits for millions are poised to expire.

Unemployment totals have dropped slightly, to 793,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, acknowledging that the drop from last week’s total of 812,000 doesn’t necessarily represent an improvement in the country’s economic situation.

Instead, the unemployment rate’s decline to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent represents the fact that many who lost their jobs earlier in the pandemic have given up looking for work. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that if those who’d given up the job search were counted, the unemployment rate would be closer to 10 percent. Indeed, over 2.5 million more people received unemployment benefits for the week ending January 23 than had the week before – 20.4 million as opposed to 17.8 million.

Also on rt.com Two shocking headlines that sum up Covid: Billionaires MADE $3.9 trillion during the pandemic, while workers LOST $3.7 trillion

The situation is poised to deteriorate further next month, when two pandemic unemployment programs are due to expire. The Biden administration is hoping to push through a $1.9 trillion aid package that would extend those benefits through August, as well as hike federal unemployment benefits to $400 per week. If the government does not extend federal jobless benefits, 11 million people will be kicked off the jobless rolls, according to the Century Foundation think tank.

In addition to worrying about unemployment benefits, many Americans are also facing the loss of their homes owing to being unable to pay rent or mortgage bills. While Biden extended last year’s eviction moratorium through March, a long-term fix has not been devised, and millions owe several months of back rent they have no hope of being able to afford.

Also on rt.com What to do post-Covid? Deprived of routine, Americans haven’t a clue... and the Great Resetters couldn’t be happier

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.