The Labor Department revealed Thursday that nearly 900,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits last week while 5.1 million are living on government help.
The report comes the day following President Joe Biden taking office and inheriting a collapsing economy heavily impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
The situation is even worsening with the federal rescue aid expiration and the cold weather that prevents outside activities.
The high number of Americans reporting joblessness last week, however, is slightly inferior to the week that proceeded.
“Unemployment claims continue to show a job market unable to progress further as long as Covid-19 remains in the driver’s seat,” Senior Economist Daniel Zhao said.
“While the vaccine offers a light at the end of the tunnel, we’re still far away from a complete reopening of the economy that could drive rehiring and stem further layoffs.”
Another 10 million people across the United States are said to receive aid from extended programs, meaning that in total, around 16 million Americans were unemployed by Jan. 2, according to the most recent data.