Slightly more people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. But the overall level stayed low enough to suggest the job market is strengthening.
Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The state data is for the week ending Feb. 25, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest increases:
Massachusetts: Up 3,475, due to temporary layoffs in local education
Rhode Island: Up 1,275, due to temporary layoffs in local education, and layoffs in manufacturing and business services
New Jersey: Up 1,274, due to layoffs in hotels, restaurants, retail, transportation and warehousing and health care
Connecticut: Up 1,186, no reason given
States with the biggest decreases:
California: Down 4,531, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing and services
Pennsylvania: Down 2,238, no reason given
Texas: Down 1,535, no reason given
New York: Down 1,321, due to fewer layoffs in health care and social assistance, construction, and retail
Florida: Down 1,124, due to fewer layoffs in the agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail and service industries