The number of people seeking unemployment benefits dipped last week, the fourth decline in five weeks. Applications have fallen steadily in the past two months, a sign companies may be stepping up hiring.
Below are states with the largest drops in unemployment claims. The figures are for the week ended March 12, one week behind the national data. No states reported large increases in claims that week.
States with the largest drops in claims:
New York: Down 16,917, due to fewer layoffs in transportation and services
California: Down 5,490, due to fewer layoffs in services
Pennsylvania: Down 1,907, due to fewer layoffs in transportation, construction, trade and services
Massachusetts: Down 1,778, due to fewer layoffs in transportation
Washington: Down 1,429, no reason given
Georgia: Down 1,222, due to fewer layoffs in construction, trade, services and manufacturing