Weekly applications for unemployment benefits and the four-week average of applications fell to their lowest levels in four years last week. The figures are the latest evidence that the job market is improving.
Here are the states with the sharpest declines in applications. No states reported significant increases. The state data is for the week ended Feb. 18, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest decreases:
Florida: Down 2,121, due to fewer layoffs in the agriculture, construction, manufacturing, trade, service and retail industries.
Illinois: Down 1,772, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, administrative service and trade industries.
Massachusetts: Down 1,537, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, healthcare and accommodation and food service industries.
California: Down 1,452.
Michigan: Down 1,280.