The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level in nearly three years, the Labor Department said Thursday. That shows layoffs are declining steadily and is bolstering the likelihood that employers will start hiring more aggressively.
Below are the states with the largest declines in unemployment benefit applications. The report listed no states with large increases. The figures are for the week of Feb. 19, one week behind the national data.
States with the largest drops:
New York: Down, 4,270, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, service and transportation industries.
Pennsylvania: Down 3,842, due to fewer layoffs in construction, service and transportation industries.
Wisconsin: Down 3,163. No comment.
Kentucky: Down 2,641. No comment.
Florida: Down 2,613, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, trade and service industries and in agriculture.
New Jersey: Down, 2,405, due to fewer layoffs in construction, trade and service industries.
Michigan: Down, 2,231. No comment.
California: Down 2,202. No comment.
Missouri: Fewer layoffs in the construction industry.