The number of workers applying for initial jobless benefits rose to 853,000 last week, according to a new report released by the Labor Department.

By Catey Hill
December 10, 2020
Credit: Getty Images

If you filed for unemployment last week, you’re not alone.

For the week ending December 5th, the number of initial jobless claims hit 853,000, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the Labor Department on Thursday. “This is new people losing work,” explains Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst with the National Employment Law Project. That figure is higher than economists had predicted, and up significantly from the previous week.

Part of this is due to the record number of COVID cases the United States is now facing, which is causing some businesses that never closed to shutter and plenty of workers to stop working, explains Evermore. Indeed, this week, the U.S. saw a record number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations this week.

What’s more, some of the federal unemployment programs that some of these workers depend on for their checks are set to expire towards the end of December, Evermore explains. That, she says, could leave millions of workers without much-needed checks during these hard times.

For those of you unemployed and looking for work, Millie has created a list of resources that can help you.

1. Unsure of how to sign up for unemployment? Here’s a guide from the Department of Labor. Note that the process varies by state.

2. Major companies that are currently hiring a large number of workers, according to LinkedIn, include Target, Amazon, FedEx, UPS, McDonald’s, Dollar General, Albertson’s, Walmart, CVS, The Department of Veterans Affairs and dozens more.

3. Major career fields that are hiring remote workers right now include customer service, sales, information technology, health, education and training. The reason they’re bringing on new hires? Many of these fields have always had lots of remote work and others may have been very impacted by the pandemic, “which is pushing even the in-person roles to be remote if at all possible,” says Brie Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs and

4. Need instant cash? Here’s where to look to find companies offering a sign-on bonus. Certain fields are more likely than others to dangle the coveted sign-on bonus to potential workers.

5. Feeling down about your job loss? This woman who got laid off over Zoom shares her story. She talks upskilling during her downtime, and connecting with others in the same boat.