New jobless claims drop to 440,000 as red states opt out of boosted unemployment benefits

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The number of new applications for unemployment benefits dropped 34,000 last week to 440,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, as several Republican states announce plans to leave the expanded federal program early.
The number of new claims, which represents the number of people who filed for unemployment in the previous week, was below forecasters’ expectations of 450,000 new claims. The number is also less than the week before, when the Labor Department reported that 478,000 people filed for …

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