Initial jobless claims for the first week of May set a new pandemic low of 473,000, according to Labor Department Data released Thursday.

Seasonally adjusted claims dropped 34,000 from the previous week's revised figure, which was adjusted up to 507,000 from 498,000.

The figures are a balm after an unexpectedly poor showing in the April jobs report, which was released last Friday. That report showed just a quarter of the expected new jobs created and a slight uptick in the unemployment rate.

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The April jobs data put the Biden administration on the defensive and spurred calls from Republicans to scale back emergency unemployment benefits they say are incentivizing people to stay out of work.

Seven GOP-run states have announced plans to eliminate the additional benefits in late June or early July.

Thursday's data saw a slight uptick in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, an emergency program expanding benefits to gig workers and the self-employed.

Applications for that program rose by 1,756 to 103,571. Read more at The Hill