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US unemployment claims slightly drop

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Washington, Jan 22 (IANS) Initial uemployment claims in the US slightly dropped to 900,000 last week, after soaring to five-month high in the previous week, the Labour Department.

In the week ending January 16, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined by 26,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised level of 926,000, according to a report released on Thursday by the Department’s Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS).

The latest BLS report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending January 9 decreased by 127,000 to 5 million, reports Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs, state and federal combined, for the week ending January 2 also decreased by 2.4 million, but remained elevated at nearly 16 million, as the country struggles to grapple with the fallout of surging Covid-19 infections.

According to the monthly employment report released by the Labour Department earlier this month, US employers slashed 140,000 jobs in December, marking the first monthly decline in employment since April 2020.

The unemployment rate, which had been trending down over the past seven months, remained unchanged at 6.7 per cent in December, the report showed.

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the US on Wednesday, as the nation grapples with an unprecedented health crisis and strives to climb out of a deep economic hole.

Less than a week ahead of the inauguration, Biden had unveiled a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill, indicating the urgency to fight the raging pandemic and bolster the ravaged economy amid surging coronavirus cases.

–IANS

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