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These are the jobless claims numbers that the Labor Department reported on January 28, 2021.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits came in below expectations. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that jobless claims totaled 847,000 last week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected jobless claims to total 875,000.

Continuing claims, the number of individuals receiving unemployment benefits for consecutive weeks, fell by 203,000 to 4.77 million. Markets responded well to the data with the Dow rising around 600 points.

However, it is important to realize that 18.28 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits. The recent stimulus package extended benefits for displaced workers and contributed to the rise in the number.

The summer weather that led to a rise in consumer spending has faded as cold temperatures have set in. Household spending declined for the time in seven months in November. This has led to consistent unemployment numbers.

President Joe Biden hopes to pass his $1.9 trillion stimulus package to help bring the unemployment numbers down and start reopening the US economy.

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