Report: Fraudsters Stole $45 Billion in Unemployment Benefits Using Dead People, Prisoners

The Department of Labor announced Thursday that 1,000 people have been charged for receiving $45.6 billion of fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) payments since March 2020.

The pandemic overwhelmed state offices responsible for distributing benefits, with 57 million people filing initial UI claims within five months of March 2020, the DOL-OIG reported. Fraudsters were successfully able to take advantage of the chaos, filing for claims in multiple states, using fraudulent emails and using the Social Security Numbers (SSN) of dead people and federal prisoners.

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Labor Market Remains Tight as Unemployment Ticks Up

The U.S. added 315,000 jobs in August, as unemployment rose slightly to 3.7%, according to data released by the Department of Labor Friday.

The number of unemployed people rose by 344,000 to 6 million, an increase of 0.2 percentage points from July, accordingto the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. A survey of economists conducted by The Wall Street Journal in advance of the report’s release estimated that 318,000 jobs would be added and that unemployment would remain around 3.5%.

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U.S. July Job Gains More than Double What Economists Had Projected

The U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in June, according to Department of Labor (DOL) data released Friday, more than double economists’ projections of 250,000 new jobs.

The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5%, according to the DOL’s report, which was also below economists’ predictions of 3.6%, according to The Wall Street Journal. The economy outperformed last month’s high job growth of 372,000, which had itself outpaced expectations, indicating that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate have not begun to cool off the economy.

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‘A Source of Concern’: Jobs Growth Stalls, Unemployment Rises in May

The U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in May while the unemployment rate was largely unchanged at 3.6%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

The number of unemployed people ticked up slightly to about 6 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Economists projected 328,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Small Businesses Struggle to Survive in Biden’s Economy: Poll

Small business owners are increasingly pessimistic about U.S. economic conditions and overwhelmingly support an expansion of domestic fossil fuel infrastructure, the latest polling data showed.

Just 27% of small business owners agreed the economy was in “good” or “excellent” condition, according to a Job Creators Network Foundation poll released Friday and shared with The Daily Caller News Foundation. The figure represented the lowest rating of the current economic situation among small business owners since the group began the poll a year ago.

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‘Signs of Slowing’: Unemployment Remains Unchanged as Economists Predict Dim Future

Woman organizing table contents in restaurant

The U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs in April while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

The number of unemployed people remained even at about 5.9 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Economists projected 400,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in over 50 Years

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 187,000 in the week ending March 19, the lowest level in over 50 years, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The Labor Department’s figure showed a decrease of 28,000 compared to the week ending March 12, when new claims numbered 215,000, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This week’s claims were well below the predictions of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, who estimated that new claims would total 210,000.

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Jobless Claims Decrease by 15,000

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 214,000 in the week ending March 12, the lowest level since the beginning of 2022, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The Labor Department figure showed a decrease of 15,000 compared to the week ending March 5, when new claims numbered just 227,000, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The week’s claims were below predictions of economists surveyed by Dow Jones, who estimated that new claims reported Thursday would total 220,000.

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Commentary: The Biden Administration’s ERISA Work-Around

Rising inflation threatens the value of Americans’ retirement savings. Now the Biden administration is finalizing a rule to loosen safeguards under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) that protect private retirement savings. The new rule, “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights,” stems from President Biden’s May 20, 2021, Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, which directed senior White House advisers to develop a strategy for financing the administration’s net-zero climate goals, including the use of private savings. 

Predictably, Wall Street is cheering the prospect of undoing ERISA safeguards. According to one analysis, 97% of comment letters support the proposal. But as I show in my RealClear Foundation report The Biden Administration’s ERISA Work-Around, it’s the remaining three percent that should give the Department of Labor (DOL) cause to rethink its deeply flawed approach.

Under ERISA, retirement savings must be invested for the exclusive purpose of providing retirement benefits. The May 2021 executive order illustrates the very danger that ERISA’s exclusive-purpose rule is designed to guard against. To achieve the goals set out in the order, DOL is instructed to “suspend, revise or rescind” two Trump-era rules designed to uphold ERISA’s exclusive-purpose rule.

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Report: Federal Unemployment Benefits Kept Millions from Returning to Work

Increased federal benefits last year perpetuated unemployment and kept millions of Americans from returning to the workforce, a new study released Wednesday reports.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation published the report, which evaluated the impact of federal handouts, particularly the controversial federal unemployment payments of $300 per week. More than two dozen states opted out of the federal program before it was set to  expire last year, citing the elevated joblessness, while blue states largely continued to take the federal money.

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Supreme Court’s Conservative Justices Seem Skeptical of Biden Admin’s Workplace COVID Vaccine Rules

The Supreme Court on Friday hearing oral arguments on two major Biden administration efforts to increase the country’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 — starting with the mandate requiring large-scale employers to require workers to be vaccinated or tested.

In the first case, the National Federation of Independent Business, et al., Applicants v. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, et al.

OSHA is more specifically requiring businesses with 100 or more workers either require them to be vaccinated or et tested weekly and wear masks while working, with exceptions for those who work outdoors.

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Youngkin Picks Trump Department of Labor Official for Secretary of Virginia Department of Labor

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin tapped former Trump Department of Labor (DOL) Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management George “Bryan” Slater to serve as Virginia secretary of labor.

“Workforce development will play a crucial part of jumpstarting our economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Bryan’s experience and leadership will be critical to the development of talent, training of workers, and protection of Virginia’s right-to-work laws that will attract investment to Virginia,” Youngkin said in the Thursday announcement.

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Far More Available Jobs Than Workers as Millions Resign

There are 10.4 million job openings in the U.S., the Department of Labor said Friday, a figure that’s well above the number of unemployed Americans.

“Job openings increased in health care and social assistance (+141,000); state and local government, excluding education (+114,000); wholesale trade (+51,000); and information (+51,000),” the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. “Job openings decreased in state and local government education (-114,000); other services (-104,000); real estate and rental and leasing (-65,000); and educational services (-45,000).”

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Commentary: Biden’s Unlawful Plan to Federalize Elections

Person voting in poll booth

The White House recently issued a statement regarding new actions dozens of federal agencies are taking related to voter registration. These actions come in response to an order President Joe Biden issued back in March.

The order commanded the heads of every federal agency to submit a plan outlining their strategy to engage in voter registration and mobilization efforts to the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice. This is an unlawful effort by the Biden administration to federalize elections and keep the president and his political party in power.

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Facebook Settles with Department of Justice over Claims It Discriminated Against U.S. Workers

Facebook reached separate settlement agreements with the Department of Justice and Department of Labor on Tuesday, resolving claims that the tech giant discriminated against U.S. workers in hiring and recruiting.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Facebook in December 2020, alleging the company refused to hire or recruit qualified U.S. workers in thousands of open positions by reserving spots in its workforce for temporary visa holders through its permanent labor certification (PERM) program. The DOJ also alleged that Facebook intentionally tried to deter U.S. workers from applying for certain positions.

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U.S. Economy Added Just 235,000 Jobs in August, Way Short of Economists’ Projections

Woman organizing table contents in restaurant

The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

The number of unemployed people decreased to 8.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Economists projected 720,000 Americans — roughly three times the actual number — would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Despite the delta variant, there is still an opening up of the service sector of the U.S. economy,” Nationwide Mutual Insurance Chief Economist David Berson told the WSJ. “While that started some months ago, it’s not nearly complete.”

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Department of Labor to Award $10 Million to Advance ‘Gender Proportionality’ in Mexico

This week’s Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the Department of Labor for a $10 million grant to promote “gender equity” in the workplace in Mexico.

In its grant notice, the DOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) announces that the goal of the project is to “improve gender equity in the Mexican workplace by supporting actions to increase the number of women in union leadership, strengthen protections, address harassment at work and augment wages for women.”

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Joblessness Continues Downward Trend

Help wanted sign

The latest federal jobs report shows a dip in new unemployment claims, but those figures still remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The Department of Labor reported Thursday that 348,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week. That number is the lowest since March 2020.

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Inflation Crisis: Consumer Prices Surge 5.4 Percent, Led by Food and Energy Costs

Inflation increased at a rapid 5.4% clip compared to August 2020, the Department of Labor said Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a common tool used to measure inflation, increased 0.5% between June and July, according to the Labor Department report.

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U.S. Economy Added Whopping 943,000 Jobs in July as Recovery Accelerates

Group of people gathered, talking next to an office desk

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 943,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 850,000 in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons decreased to 8.7 million. Economists projected 845,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The jobs recovery is continuing, but it’s different in character to any we’ve seen before,” payroll software firm ADP economist Nela Richardson told the WSJ. “I had been looking at September as a point when we could gain momentum—with schools back in session and vaccines widely available. But with the delta variant, we need to rethink that.”

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Jobless Claims Fall Below 400,000, Hit Economists’ Expectations

Unemployment sign

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 385,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a slight decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending July 24, when 399,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised down from the 400,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Jobless Claims Surge Past 400,000, Far Higher Than Economists’ Expectations

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 419,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a large increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending July 10, when 368,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 360,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Inflation Spikes Again, Marks Quickest Increase in 13 Years

Inflation surged 5.4% over the 12-month period ending in June, the quickest spike since August 2008, a Department of Labor report showed.

The consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.9% between May and June, according to the Labor Department report released Tuesday morning. Economists projected the report would show that CPI ticked up 4.7% between July 2020 and June, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“We’re in a transitional phase right now,” Joel Naroff, the chief economist at Naroff Economics, told the WSJ. “We are transitioning to a higher period of inflation and interest rates than we’ve had over the last 20 years.”

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Jobless Claims Increase to 373,000, Above Economists’ Predictions

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 373,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 26, when 371,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 364,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 350,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Commentary: As President Biden’s Deputy Secretary of Labor, Julie Su Would Take California’s Small-Business Nightmare National

Last Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer filed cloture on the nomination of Julie Su, California’s top labor official, to become President Joe Biden’s deputy secretary of labor.

Su’s confirmation vote will likely occur soon after the Independence Day Senate recess. That’s bad news.

After all, Su leads California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency, presiding over one of the most anti-small business regimes in the country. If confirmed as second-in-command at the Department of Labor, she would use her position to expand California’s war on small businesses nationwide. On behalf of their small business constituents, Senators must oppose Su’s confirmation.

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Just 14 States Had Positive Job Growth in May

Just 14 states saw positive employment growth between April and May while the majority of the growth was concentrated in a handful of states, according to the Department of Labor.

Fourteen states led by California, Florida and Texas experienced significant job growth, 35 states experienced stagnant job growth and Wyoming saw a decline in employment last month, according to a Department of Labor report released Wednesday. Overall, the unemployment rates in 21 states decreased between April and May while every state’s employment improved compared to May 2020.

While the U.S. continues to report increased job growth, the report showed that the vast majority of the growth has come from about a dozen states.

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Inflation Surges Five Percent, Largest Spike Since 2008

The Consumer Price Index has increased 5% over the last 12 months, the fastest pace of inflation since August 2008, according to a Department of Labor report.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a common tool used to measure inflation, increased 0.6% between April and May, according to the Labor Department report released Thursday morning. Economists projected that the CPI increased by 0.5% and 4.7% over the 12-month period ending in May, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Jobless Claims Hit New Pandemic Low, Drop to 473,000

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 473,000 last week as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending May 1, when 507,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 498,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in at 500,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Consumer Prices Increase 4.2 Percent to the Highest Level Since 2008

The consumer price index has jumped 4.2% over the last 12 months, the fastest pace of inflation since 2008, according to a Department of Labor report.

The consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.8% between March and April, according to the Labor Department report released Wednesday morning. Economists projected that the CPI increased by 0.2% last month and 3.6% over the 12-month period ending in April, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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New Federal Data Signals More Trouble for U.S. Economy

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that prices for consumer goods have risen significantly in the past year, putting extra strain on Americans’ budgets and worrying experts.

As the Biden administration fends off criticism over proposed tax increases, higher spending and rising inflation, BLS released data Wednesday showing the biggest increase in consumer prices in over a decade. Those price increases point to a spike in inflation, experts say.

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Judge Grants Virginia Employment Commission Brief Extension to Respond to Class-Action Lawsuit over Slow Unemployment Claims Processing

Virginia is trailing the rest of the United States in processing certain unemployment claims. That’s led to a class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), filed in April. VEC Commissioner Ellen Hess asked for an extension until the end of May to respond to the lawsuit, but on Wednesday, a district judge ruled that the VEC could only have a four-day extension from May 7 until May 11.

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U.S. Added Just 266,000 Jobs in April, Far Below Expectations

Worker in restaurant kitchen

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 266,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 266,000 in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons ticked up to 9.8 million. Economists projected a million Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The pieces are really coming together for a burst in activity,” Sarah House, senior economist for Wells Fargo’s Corporate and Investment Bank, told the WSJ. “We’re expecting to see the labor market recovery shift into an even faster gear with the April jobs report.”

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Jobless Claims Fall to 553,000, Hit New Pandemic Low

Unemployment sign

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 553,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending April 17, when 566,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 547,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Jobless Claims Increase to 719,000 as Recovery Continues

Unemployment sign

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 719,000 last week, even as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 20, when 658,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised down from the 684,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Roughly 18.2 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the report.

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New Jobless Claims Increase to 770,000, Above Economist Projections

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 770,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 6, when 725,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 712,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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U.S. Added 379,000 Jobs in February, Unemployment Rate Fell to 6.2 Percent

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 379,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 379,000 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons fell slightly to 10 million. Economists projected 210,000 Americans to be added to payrolls and the unemployment rate to increase to hold at 6.3% prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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New Jobless Claims Increase Slightly to 745,000

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased slightly to 745,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Feb. 20, in which there were 736,000 new jobless claims reported. That number was revised up from the 730,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Bernie Sanders Wants to be Joe Biden’s Labor Secretary According to Report

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is reportedly making a push to be nominated as labor secretary in a potential Joe Biden administration, sources told Politico.

Sanders is interested in having a position in Democratic presidential nominee Biden’s potential cabinet, an unnamed person close to the Vermont senator told Politico Thursday evening. Sanders, who was former Vice President Biden’s main rival during the 2020 Democratic primaries, has specifically expressed interest in leading the Department of Labor, according to the source.

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1.5 Million More Laid-off Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits

About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many Americans are still losing their jobs even as the economy appears to be slowly recovering with more businesses partially reopening.

The latest figure from the Labor Department marked the 10th straight weekly decline in applications for jobless aid since they peaked in mid-March when the coronavirus hit hard. Still, the pace of layoffs remains historically high.

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JC Bowman Commentary: On Combining the Departments of Education and Labor

Departments of Education and Labor

President Trump’s concept to merge the U.S. Department of Education with the Department of Labor lacks significant details and will be difficult to maneuver through a deeply divided Congress.

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Tennessee Adds 45,000 Jobs Over Past Year

Handshake deal

Tennessee’s unemployment rates remain low and the state added 45,000 jobs the past year, the National Federation of Independent Business said. According to the March 2018 numbers from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 82 of the state’s 95 counties saw lower unemployment rates that month than they…

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