Jobless Claims Soar to 3,283,000 as Coronavirus Strikes Jobs Market

Washington, DC…During the week ending March 21, the increase in initial claims are due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus. Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts. States continued to cite services industries broadly, particularly accommodation and food services. Additional industries heavily cited for the increases included the health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing industries.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 281,000 to 282,000. The 4-week moving average was 998,250, an increase of 765,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 232,250 to 232,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending March 14, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 14 was 1,803,000, an increase of 101,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the highest level for insured unemployment since April 14, 2018 when it was 1,824,000. The previous week’s level was revised up 1,000 from 1,701,000 to 1,702,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,731,000, an increase of 27,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 1,703,250 to 1,703,500.

UNADJUSTED DATA
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 2,898,450 in the week ending March 21, an increase of 2,647,034 (or 1,052.9 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 2,815 (or -1.1 percent) from the previous week. There were 190,023 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.4 percent during the week ending March 14, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,097,193, an increase of 119,945 (or 6.1 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 1,702 (or 0.1 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.4 percent and the volume was 2,009,317.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 7 was 2,006,363, a decrease of 80,856 from the previous week. There were 2,039,322 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019.

No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending March 7.
Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 573 in the week ending March 14, an increase of 20 from the prior week. There were 436 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 71 from the preceding week.

There were 9,644 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending March 7, a decrease of 852 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 5,207, a decrease of 145 from the prior week.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 7 were in Alaska (2.8), New Jersey (2.6), Connecticut (2.4), Rhode Island (2.3), West Virginia (2.3), Illinois (2.2), Minnesota (2.2), Montana (2.2), Pennsylvania (2.2), and Puerto Rico (2.2).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 14 were in California (+14,221), Washington (+7,624), Nevada (+4,047), Pennsylvania (+3,212), and Massachusetts (+2,737), while the largest decreases were in Arkansas (-461), Alabama (-341), Puerto Rico (-171), West Virginia (-168), and Maine (-81).

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DATA FOR REGULAR STATE PROGRAMS WEEK ENDING March 21 March 14 Change March 7 Prior Year1 Initial Claims (SA) 3,283,000 282,000 +3,001,000 211,000 215,000 Initial Claims (NSA) 2,898,450 251,416 +2,647,034 200,382 190,023 4-Wk Moving Average (SA) 998,250 232,500 +765,750 215,750 219,500 WEEK ENDING March 14 March 7 Change February 29 Prior Year1 Insured Unemployment (SA) 1,803,000 1,702,000 +101,000 1,699,000 1,732,000 Insured Unemployment (NSA) 2,097,193 1,977,248 +119,945 2,057,280 2,009,317 4-Wk Moving Average (SA) 1,731,000 1,703,500 +27,500 1,710,250 1,733,750 Insured Unemployment Rate (SA)2 1.2% 1.2% 0.0 1.2% 1.2% Insured Unemployment Rate (NSA)2 1.4% 1.4% 0.0 1.4% 1.4% INITIAL CLAIMS FILED IN FEDERAL PROGRAMS (UNADJUSTED) WEEK ENDING March 14 March 7 Change Prior Year1 Federal Employees (UCFE) 573 553 +20 579 Newly Discharged Veterans (UCX) 436 507 -71 507 PERSONS CLAIMING UI BENEFITS IN ALL PROGRAMS (UNADJUSTED) WEEK ENDING March 7 February 29 Change Prior Year1 Regular State 1,973,560 2,054,152 -80,592 2,005,466 Federal Employees 9,644 10,496 -852 10,705 Newly Discharged Veterans 5,207 5,352 -145 6,135 Extended Benefits3 0 0 0 1 State Additional Benefits4 5,584 5,641 -57 6,063 STC / Workshare 5 12,368 11,578 +790 10,952 TOTAL 2,006,363 2,087,219 -80,856 2,039,322

FOOTNOTES SA – Seasonally Adjusted Data, NSA – Not Seasonally Adjusted Data
1. Prior year is comparable to most recent data.
2. Most recent week used covered employment of 145,230,691 as denominator.
3. Information on the EB program can be found here: EB Program information
4. Some states maintain additional benefit programs for those claimants who exhaust regular benefits, and when applicable, extended benefits. Information on states that participate, and the extent of benefits paid, can be found starting on page 4-4 of this link: Extensions and Special Programs PDF
5. Information on STC/Worksharing can be found starting on page 4-8 of the following link: Extensions and Special Programs PDF

Advance State Claims – Not Seasonally Adjusted Initial Claims Filed During Week Ended March 21 Insured Unemployment For Week Ended March 14 STATE Advance Prior Wk Change Advance Prior Wk Change Alabama 9,490 1,819 7,671 11,070 13,070 -2,000 Alaska 8,225 1,120 7,105 8,407 8,522 -115 Arizona 29,268 3,844 25,424 16,076 17,595 -1,519 Arkansas 8,958 1,382 7,576 9,851 11,514 -1,663 California 186,809 57,606 129,203 430,335 351,344 78,991 Colorado 19,429 2,321 17,108 21,987 21,260 727 Connecticut 25,098 3,440 21,658 45,284 39,786 5,498 Delaware 10,720 472 10,248 5,627 5,310 317 District of Columbia 13,473 1,213 12,260 7,093 6,746 347 Florida 74,021 6,463 67,558 29,612 32,244 -2,632 Georgia 11,746 5,445 6,301 26,644 25,352 1,292 Hawaii 8,904 1,589 7,315 6,700 6,171 529 Idaho 13,314 1,031 12,283 7,562 9,336 -1,774 Illinois 114,663 10,870 103,793 125,914 130,325 -4,411 Indiana 61,635 2,596 59,039 22,440 21,473 967 Iowa 41,890 2,229 39,661 27,172 27,816 -644 Kansas 23,687 1,755 21,932 10,245 9,771 474 Kentucky 48,847 2,785 46,062 21,885 22,940 -1,055 Louisiana 72,620 2,255 70,365 12,052 13,987 -1,935 Maine 21,197 634 20,563 8,620 8,451 169 Maryland 41,882 3,864 38,018 26,072 27,046 -974 Massachusetts 147,995 7,449 140,546 82,475 74,336 8,139 Michigan 129,298 5,338 123,960 78,824 75,757 3,067 Minnesota 116,438 4,010 112,428 70,530 61,781 8,749 Mississippi 6,723 1,147 5,576 5,714 7,098 -1,384 Missouri 40,508 4,016 36,492 22,188 22,381 -193 Montana 14,704 817 13,887 10,054 10,112 -58 Nebraska 15,668 795 14,873 4,603 5,076 -473 Nevada 93,036 6,356 86,680 20,852 19,475 1,377 New Hampshire 21,878 642 21236 3,731 3,909 -178 New Jersey 155,454 9,467 145,987 108,091 104,283 3,808 New Mexico 17,187 869 16,318 9,707 9,566 141 New York 80,334 14,272 66,062 168,921 158,268 10,653 North Carolina 93,587 3,533 90,054 19,377 19,683 -306 North Dakota 5,968 415 5,553 7,165 6,349 816 Ohio* 187,784 7,046 180,738 68,743 68,516 227 Oklahoma 17,720 1,836 15,884 15,863 16,482 -619 Oregon 22,824 4,269 18,555 30,488 29,002 1,486 Pennsylvania* 378,908 15,439 363,469 128,932 128,842 90 Puerto Rico* 1,471 1,172 299 17,198 18,704 -1,506 Rhode Island 35,436 1,108 34,328 11,011 10,692 319 South Carolina 31,064 2,093 28,971 14,780 15,032 -252 South Dakota 1,703 190 1513 2,657 2,870 -213 Tennessee 39,096 2,702 36,394 17,235 18,450 -1,215 Texas 155,657 16,176 139,481 126,955 127,905 -950 Utah 1,314 1,305 9 10,324 10,701 -377 Vermont 3,667 659 3,008 5,055 4,896 159 Virgin Islands 58 44 14 588 592 -4 Virginia 46,885 2,706 44,179 22,291 21,336 955 Washington 133,478 14,240 119,238 67,415 55,588 11,827 West Virginia 3,435 865 2,570 16,571 15,394 1,177 Wisconsin 50,957 5,190 45,767 44,278 40,738 3,540 Wyoming 2,339 517 1,822 3,929 3,375 554 US Total 2,898,450 251,416 2,647,034 2,097,193 1,977,248 119,945

Note: Advance claims are not directly comparable to claims reported in prior weeks. Advance claims are reported by the state liable for paying the unemployment compensation, whereas previous weeks reported claims reflect claimants by state of residence. In addition, claims reported as “workshare equivalent” in the previous week are added to the advance claims as a proxy for the current week’s “workshare equivalent” activity.
*Denotes state estimate.
6
Seasonally Adjusted US Weekly UI Claims (in thousands) Week Ending Initial Claims Change from Prior Week 4-Week Average Insured Unemployment Change from Prior Week 4-Week Average IUR March 16, 2019 219 -5 221.75 1,732 -2 1,733.75 1.2 March 23, 2019 215 -4 219.50 1,719 -13 1,728.75 1.2 March 30, 2019 211 -4 217.25 1,705 -14 1,722.50 1.2 April 6, 2019 203 -8 212.00 1,667 -38 1,705.75 1.2 April 13, 2019 203 0 208.00 1,659 -8 1,687.50 1.2 April 20, 2019 226 23 210.75 1,682 23 1,678.25 1.2 April 27, 2019 230 4 215.50 1,684 2 1,673.00 1.2 May 4, 2019 225 -5 221.00 1,678 -6 1,675.75 1.2 May 11, 2019 217 -8 224.50 1,683 5 1,681.75 1.2 May 18, 2019 213 -4 221.25 1,675 -8 1,680.00 1.2 May 25, 2019 218 5 218.25 1,695 20 1,682.75 1.2 June 1, 2019 220 2 217.00 1,700 5 1,688.25 1.2 June 8, 2019 220 0 217.75 1,677 -23 1,686.75 1.2 June 15, 2019 219 -1 219.25 1,692 15 1,691.00 1.2 June 22, 2019 224 5 220.75 1,699 7 1,692.00 1.2 June 29, 2019 222 -2 221.25 1,717 18 1,696.25 1.2 July 6, 2019 211 -11 219.00 1,694 -23 1,700.50 1.2 July 13, 2019 217 6 218.50 1,682 -12 1,698.00 1.2 July 20, 2019 211 -6 215.25 1,699 17 1,698.00 1.2 July 27, 2019 216 5 213.75 1,692 -7 1,691.75 1.2 August 3, 2019 214 -2 214.50 1,719 27 1,698.00 1.2 August 10, 2019 218 4 214.75 1,687 -32 1,699.25 1.2 August 17, 2019 215 -3 215.75 1,699 12 1,699.25 1.2 August 24, 2019 215 0 215.50 1,683 -16 1,697.00 1.2 August 31, 2019 219 4 216.75 1,683 0 1,688.00 1.2 September 7, 2019 208 -11 214.25 1,675 -8 1,685.00 1.2 September 14, 2019 211 3 213.25 1,672 -3 1,678.25 1.2 September 21, 2019 215 4 213.25 1,667 -5 1,674.25 1.2 September 28, 2019 218 3 213.00 1,698 31 1,678.00 1.2 October 5, 2019 212 -6 214.00 1,689 -9 1,681.50 1.2 October 12, 2019 218 6 215.75 1,691 2 1,686.25 1.2 October 19, 2019 213 -5 215.25 1,700 9 1,694.50 1.2 October 26, 2019 217 4 215.00 1,695 -5 1,693.75 1.2 November 2, 2019 212 -5 215.00 1,702 7 1,697.00 1.2 November 9, 2019 222 10 216.00 1,697 -5 1,698.50 1.2 November 16, 2019 223 1 218.50 1,665 -32 1,689.75 1.2 November 23, 2019 211 -12 217.00 1,697 32 1,690.25 1.2 November 30, 2019 206 -5 215.50 1,700 3 1,689.75 1.2 December 7, 2019 237 31 219.25 1,725 25 1,696.75 1.2 December 14, 2019 229 -8 220.75 1,716 -9 1,709.50 1.2 December 21, 2019 218 -11 222.50 1,728 12 1,717.25 1.2 December 28, 2019 220 2 226.00 1,775 47 1,736.00 1.2 January 4, 2020 212 -8 219.75 1,759 -16 1,744.50 1.2 January 11, 2020 207 -5 214.25 1,735 -24 1,749.25 1.2 January 18, 2020 220 13 214.75 1,704 -31 1,743.25 1.2 January 25, 2020 212 -8 212.75 1,753 49 1,737.75 1.2 February 1, 2020 201 -11 210.00 1,678 -75 1,717.50 1.2 February 8, 2020 204 3 209.25 1,729 51 1,716.00 1.2 February 15, 2020 215 11 208.00 1,693 -36 1,713.25 1.2 February 22, 2020 220 5 210.00 1,720 27 1,705.00 1.2 February 29, 2020 217 -3 214.00 1,699 -21 1,710.25 1.2 March 7, 2020 211 -6 215.75 1,702 3 1,703.50 1.2 March 14, 2020 282 71 232.50 1,803 101 1,731.00 1.2 March 21, 2020 3,283 3,001 998.25

INITIAL CLAIMS FILED DURING WEEK ENDED MARCH 14 INSURED UNEMPLOYMENT FOR WEEK ENDED MARCH 7 CHANGE FROM CHANGE FROM ALL PROGRAMS EXCLUDING RAILROAD RETIREMENT STATE NAME STATE LAST WEEK YEAR AGO UCFE 1 UCX 1 STATE (%) 2 LAST WEEK YEAR AGO UCFE 1UCX1 Alabama 1819 -341 -330 6 3 13070 0.7 -2707 -1302 58 46 13174 Alaska 1120 305 165 6 0 8522 2.8 256 -412 127 9 8658 Arizona 3844 487 456 1 2 17595 0.6 2 -1493 183 30 17808 Arkansas 1382 -461 -60 2 3 11514 1.0 -104 541 51 31 11596 California 57606 14221 16478 127 57 351344 2.0 -27520 -20962 2225 1003 354572 Colorado 2321 456 815 14 19 21260 0.8 -1648 71 219 122 21601 Connecticut 3440 913 619 2 5 39786 2.4 -852 -1282 45 62 39893 Delaware 472 -46 12 0 1 5310 1.2 -170 -425 13 10 5333 District of Columbia 1213 742 783 11 3 6746 1.2 -46 -513 186 5 6937 Florida 6463 1138 662 20 26 32244 0.4 -18 -2507 148 91 32483 Georgia 5445 876 1058 23 14 25352 0.6 273 670 180 123 25655 Hawaii 1589 314 434 2 4 6171 1.0 127 -431 62 60 6293 Idaho 1031 93 -12 10 1 9336 1.3 -831 -361 259 12 9607 Illinois 10870 2143 2883 5 3 130325 2.2 -6071 4863 369 148 130842 Indiana 2596 373 508 3 3 21473 0.7 -1113 791 25 25 21523 Iowa 2229 8 -119 4 1 27816 1.8 -1608 -2518 57 22 27895 Kansas 1755 390 107 0 0 9771 0.7 -1232 -1422 24 21 9816 Kentucky 2785 322 680 3 3 22940 1.2 170 2795 108 127 23175 Louisiana 2255 557 594 5 2 13987 0.7 -212 -281 40 14 14041 Maine 634 -81 15 0 1 8451 1.4 -288 -42 45 6 8502 Maryland 3864 1189 1271 13 4 27046 1.1 -1022 -3571 175 74 27295 Massachusetts 7449 2737 3095 10 7 74336 2.1 -1216 -5238 136 91 74563 Michigan 5338 188 182 14 12 75757 1.8 -1904 -327 198 88 76043 Minnesota 4010 522 781 4 4 61781 2.2 -986 3247 122 62 61965 Mississippi 1147 268 12 5 2 7098 0.6 -318 -258 72 17 7187 Missouri 4016 1022 783 3 1 22381 0.8 -2844 -3410 83 27 22491 Montana 817 103 43 20 0 10112 2.2 -670 -1489 434 19 10565 Nebraska 795 294 7 6 0 5076 0.5 -505 -1995 18 9 5103 Nevada 6356 4047 4068 7 1 19475 1.4 -375 -113 137 43 19655 New Hampshire 642 147 124 0 0 3909 0.6 -566 -575 8 3 3920 New Jersey 9467 1471 1614 27 23 104283 2.6 -3363 -3045 224 265 104772 New Mexico 869 179 192 2 4 9566 1.2 -279 -56 212 35 9813 New York 14272 237 1357 14 18 158268 1.7 -3624 1292 291 316 158875 North Carolina 3533 958 865 13 20 19683 0.4 -513 1070 114 85 19882 North Dakota 415 -8 127 2 0 6349 1.5 -194 188 16 3 6368 Ohio 7046 501 597 7 12 68516 1.3 -4607 1130 106 117 68739 Oklahoma 1836 267 -833 8 5 16482 1.1 -585 2955 52 48 16582 Oregon 4269 115 563 20 6 29002 1.5 -515 -2987 557 51 29610 Pennsylvania 15439 3212 2361 70 26 128842 2.2 -8089 -1259 483 199 129524 Puerto Rico 1172 -171 -3 3 4 18704 2.2 47 2896 179 72 18955 Rhode Island 1108 408 221 2 3 10692 2.3 -438 -1108 15 6 10713 South Carolina 2093 204 16 3 2 15032 0.7 -309 596 39 56 15127 South Dakota 190 5 47 2 0 2870 0.7 -189 -442 55 4 2929 Tennessee 2702 670 454 4 4 18450 0.6 -585 297 82 49 18581 Texas 16176 1821 4596 34 89 127905 1.0 2653 14449 418 838 129161 Utah 1305 290 391 5 3 10701 0.7 -376 -57 161 14 10876 Vermont 659 213 18 0 1 4896 1.6 -323 -323 11 1 4908 Virgin Islands 44 -20 24 0 0 592 1.7 6 46 4 0 596 Virginia 2706 179 496 5 8 21336 0.6 -1378 -591 169 179 21684 Washington 14240 7624 8453 7 23 55588 1.7 -925 -7301 450 400 56438 West Virginia 865 -168 25 0 3 15394 2.3 -716 1862 42 38 15474 Wisconsin 5190 138 -809 5 0 40738 1.4 -1599 -3209 96 28 40862 Wyoming 517 -17 195 14 0 3375 1.3 -133 446 61 3 3439 Totals 251416 51034 57081 573 436 1977248 1.4 -80032 -31100 9644 5207 1992099

Figures appearing in columns showing over-the-week changes reflect all revisions in data for prior week submitted by state agencies.
1.The Unemployment Compensation program for Federal Employees (UCFE) and the Unemployment Compensation forEx-servicemembers (UCX) exclude claims filed jointly under other programs to avoid duplication.
2.Rate is not seasonally adjusted. The source of U.S. total covered employment is BLS.

UNADJUSTED INITIAL CLAIMS FOR WEEK ENDED MARCH 14, 2020
STATES WITH AN INCREASE OF MORE THAN 1,000 State Change State Supplied Comment CA +14,221 Layoffs in the service industry. WA +7,624 Layoffs in the transportation and warehousing, real estate rental and leasing, arts, entertainment and recreation, accommodation and food services, and service industries. NV +4,047 Increase in layoffs are due to the COVID-19 virus. PA +3,212 Layoffs in the accommodation and food services, transportation and warehousing, and educational service industries. MA +2,737 Increase in layoffs are due to the COVID-19 virus. IL +2,143 Layoffs in the construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative, support, waste management, and remediation services industries. TX +1,821 Layoffs in the transportation and warehousing, administrative, support, waste management, and remediation services, accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, and arts, entertainment and recreation industries. NJ +1,471 Layoffs in the accommodation and food services, transportation and warehousing, and educational service industries. Increase due to the COVID-19 virus. MD +1,189 No comment. FL +1,138 Layoffs in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and retail trade industries. MO +1,022 Layoffs in the transportation and warehousing, accommodation and food services, and administrative, support, waste management, and remediation services industries.

STATES WITH A DECREASE OF MORE THAN 1,000 State Change State Supplied Comment None

TECHNICAL NOTES
This news release presents the weekly unemployment insurance (UI) claims reported by each state’s unemployment insurance program offices. These claims may be used for monitoring workload volume, assessing state program operations and for assessing labor market conditions. States initially report claims directly taken by the state liable for the benefit payments, regardless of where the claimant who filed the claim resided. These are the basis for the advance initial claims and continued claims reported each week. These data come from ETA 538, Advance Weekly Initial and Continued Claims Report. The following week initial claims and continued claims are revised based on a second reporting by states that reflect the claimants by state of residence. These data come from the ETA 539, Weekly Claims and Extended Benefits Trigger Data Report.

A. Initial Claims
An initial claim is a claim filed by an unemployed individual after a separation from an employer. The claimant requests a determination of basic eligibility for the UI program. When an initial claim is filed with a state, certain programmatic activities take place and these result in activity counts including the count of initial claims. The count of U.S. initial claims for unemployment insurance is a leading economic indicator because it is an indication of emerging labor market conditions in the country. However, these are weekly administrative data which are difficult to seasonally adjust, making the series subject to some volatility.

B. Continued Weeks Claimed
A person who has already filed an initial claim and who has experienced a week of unemployment then files a continued claim to claim benefits for that week of unemployment. Continued claims are also referred to as insured unemployment. The count of U.S. continued weeks claimed is also a good indicator of labor market conditions. Continued claims reflect the current number of insured unemployed workers filing for UI benefits in the nation. While continued claims are not a leading indicator (they roughly coincide with economic cycles at their peaks and lag at cycle troughs), they provide confirming evidence of the direction of the U.S. economy.

C. Seasonal Adjustments and Annual Revisions
Over the course of a year, the weekly changes in the levels of initial claims and continued claims undergo regularly occurring fluctuations. These fluctuations may result from seasonal changes in weather, major holidays, the opening and closing of schools, or other similar events. Because these seasonal events follow a more or less regular pattern each year, their influence on the level of a series can be tempered by adjusting for regular seasonal variation. These adjustments make trend and cycle developments easier to spot. At the beginning of each calendar year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) with a set of seasonal factors to apply to the unadjusted data during that year. Concurrent with the implementation and release of the new seasonal factors, ETA incorporates revisions to the UI claims historical series caused by updates to the unadjusted data.

Weekly Claims Archives Weekly Claims Data
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The Department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts Departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the Department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Washington, D.C. 20210 Release Number: USDL 20-510-NAT Program Contacts: Kevin Stapleton: (202) 693-3009 Media Contact: (202) 693-4676

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