The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in four years, adding to evidence that the job market is strengthening. Applications dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 359,000.
Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The state data is for the week ended March 17, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest decreases:
New York: Down 3,103, due to fewer layoffs in the manufacturing, construction and retail industries
Texas: Down 1,787, no reason given
Pennsylvania: Down 1,606, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, professional services, construction and retail
California: Down 1,603, no reason given
Ohio: Down 1,419, no reason given
Georgia: Down 1,395, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction and administrative services
States with the biggest increases:
Florida: Up 1,876, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing and retail