Weekly unemployment benefit applications plunged last week to the lowest level in nearly four years, the latest sign the job market is improving.
Here are the states with the biggest changes in unemployment benefit applications, and some reasons for the changes. The state data are for the week ending Jan. 7, when applications rose. That's one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest increases:
New York: Up 29,389, due to layoffs in the transportation, education, and construction industries
California: Up 22,168, due to layoffs in services agriculture and fishing
Texas: Up 13,946, due to layoffs in manufacturing and services
North Carolina: Up 7,865, due to layoffs in the textiles and electronics industries
Georgia: Up 7,225, due to layoffs in the manufacturing, services, trade and construction industries
Pennsylvania: Up 6,441, due to layoffs in construction, services and retail
Tennessee: Up 6,289, due to layoffs in the service, construction and recreation industries
States with the biggest decreases:
Wisconsin: Down 7,657, no reason given
Michigan: Down 5,208, no reason given
Iowa: Down 4,675, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing
New Jersey: Down 4,667, due to fewer layoffs in services, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing
Kentucky: Down 3,577, no reason given