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US Jobless Claims Fall Again As Some States End Federal Aid

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In this Monday, May 17, 2021, photo, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly tours a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students aged 12 through 15 set up in a gym at Topeka High School in Topeka, Kan. The Democratic governor is under increasing pressure to end an extra $300 a week in benefits for unemployed workers, with critics of the aid arguing that businesses are having problems hiring enough workers because of it. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

(AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to 444,000, a new pandemic low and a sign that the job market keeps strengthening as consumers spend freely again, viral infections drop and business restrictions ease.

The data release coincides with rapid moves by nearly all the nation’s Republican governors to cut off a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit that they and many business executives blame for discouraging the unemployed from seeking jobs.

Most of the same states are also dropping out of federal programs that provided benefits to those who were self-employed and to those who have been unemployed for longer than six months.

 

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