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More than a dozen GOP-led states are ending federal unemployment benefits early

At least 12 Republican-led states have announced they are terminating their involvement in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs early.

Driving the news: Many of the states' governors cited worker shortages. But some experts say it's the job climate, including pandemic-era factors, and not unemployment benefits that is determining when and how people return to work.

  • The federal assistance programs, which include extra $300-a-week payments, are set to expire on Sept. 6.
  • The pandemic-era programs also offer unemployment to those typically ineligible, including gig workers.

The states that have announced an end to the federal COVID-related benefits include:

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Courtenay Brown: The floodgates are open. While policymakers and economists spar over whether generous jobless benefits are keeping would-be workers at home, more and more states are moving ahead to cut them off.

Go deeper: States enter the unemployment fray

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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