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About 400,000 in U.S. file for unemployment in new low for COVID-19 era

By
Don Johnson & Danielle Haynes
The Labor Department figures were released a few hours before President Joe Biden was scheduled to address the American economy during a visit in Cleveland, Ohio. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The Labor Department figures were released a few hours before President Joe Biden was scheduled to address the American economy during a visit in Cleveland, Ohio. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 27 (UPI) -- A little more than 400,000 workers in the United States have newly filed for unemployment, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday -- slightly beating expectations.

The department said 406,000 workers made new filings last week, a decrease of almost 40,000. Most analysts expected about 425,000 new claims.

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Thursday's figure is the lowest of the COVID-19 era, beating last week's total. Initial unemployment claims have sunk to record lows for the past four weeks.

By comparison, there were 256,000 new claims in the final week before the pandemic hit the U.S. workforce in March 2020.

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The department said Thursday there were 3.6 million continuing claims, which lag initial claims by a week.

President Joe Biden said there's been "clear progress" on the economy during a visit to the manufacturing technology center at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.

"We've turned the tide on a once-in-a-century pandemic. "We've turned the tide on a once-in-a-generation economic crisis. And families are beginning to be able to breathe just a little bit easier," he said.

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"We still have work to do but our future today is just as bright and as wide open as it ever has been."

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Biden said this is the moment to rebuild the economy from the "bottom up and the middle out," not "trickle down."

He said he wants to "build an economy that works not just for the wealthy, an economy that works for the backbone of this country."

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He credited the country's vaccination program for putting people back to work.

"Put simply, America's coming back. America's on the move," Biden said.

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