The number of people applying for unemployment benefits last week fell below 400,000 for the first time since early April. The dose of good news followed calamitous losses on Wall Street and fears of another recession.
Applications fell 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 395,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell for the sixth straight week to 405,000.
Below are the states with the biggest drops in claims. No states reported increases above 1,000. The data is for the week ending July 30, one week behind the national data:
States with the biggest declines:
Tennessee: Down 4,448.
Michigan: Down 3,025, due to fewer layoffs in the automobile industry.
Florida: Down 2,336, due to fewer layoffs in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction and retail industries.
New York: Down 2,132, due to fewer layoffs in education, transportation and other service industries.
Texas: Down 1,828.
Pennsylvania: Down 1,675, due to fewer layoffs in the education and service industries.
Alabama: Down 1,587, due to fewer layoffs in the transportation, service, plastic and rubber industries.
North Carolina: Down 1,408, due to fewer layoffs in the electronic, transportation, textile, furniture and service industries.
Georgia: Down 1,194, due to fewer layoffs in the manufacturing and service industries.