A new jobs report in the U.S. showed a modest gain of 49,000 jobs over the course of January. While the growth is a welcome sign when compared to the 200,000 jobs that were lost in December, many analysts are pointing to the slow growth as mounting evidence that the COVID-19 economic recovery will be much slower than what many industries are hoping for and expecting.
The unemployment percentage in the country fell to 6.3 percent in January, however that number may not accurately reflect the true percentage of people who are out of work and have stopped searching for jobs or filing for unemployment insurance. New survey data shows roughly half of those who are unemployed say they’re pessimistic for future job prospects, and the potential slow recovery spread out across 2021 only fuels their discouragement.
A new survey from Pew Research Center shows 49 percent of unemployed Americans are in some way pessimistic about the outlook of finding a job in the near future. While 31 percent say they’re somewhat pessimistic for future jobs, a sobering 18 percent say they’re very pessimistic about the opportunity of finding a new job in the near future.
Congress and the Biden administration are hoping to pass a new COVID-19 relief package as soon as March. The bill would include new stimulus checks, more support for small business and potentially a $15 minimum wage increase. The total price of the legislation would come in at roughly $1.9 trillion, however it’s still in the hands of the Senate to determine what the final package will include. Ultimately, many are hoping the relief will continue to add kindling to job creation from small and large businesses - jobs that have yet to fully materialize from previous relief packages.