Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Close to another 1 million U.S. workers have filed for new unemployment benefits, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday -- slightly fewer than experts anticipated.
The report listed 900,000 new claims for the week ending Jan. 16, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week. It listed the weekly unemployment rate at 3.6%.
Most economists expected about 935,000 new claims.
The department said there are 5.05 million continuing claims in the United States, which lag initial filings by a week.
Last week's unemployment report also showed close to 1 million new jobless claims, which was far more than experts predicted and the highest weekly unemployment figure since August. Thursday's report also revised down last week's claims by almost 40,000 to 926,000.
About 1.8 million workers have filed new claims in the past two weeks.
President Joe Biden, who took office on Wednesday, has proposed sweeping legislation to stimulate the economy amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, which includes a third round of direct payments for Americans.
The House and Senate, which are both now controlled by Democrats, are expected to take up Biden's proposal immediately. It calls for a $1,400 stimulus payment for most Americans, which many lawmakers have said they support.