Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 44,000 to 448,000 in the July 26 week, as the new emergency unemployment compensation program recently voted on by Congress is now being enacted, causing a “structural shift” in the jobless claims series, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

The emergency unemployment compensation program might have affected claims levels in the week ended July 19 and will likely continue to “disrupt the stability of our series” for “a couple of weeks,” a department analyst told reporters.

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