Far fewer people sought unemployment benefits last week, a sharp reversal from big gains that suggests recent increases in layoffs may prove temporary. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits plummeted 44,000 to 434,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was the biggest weekly drop since February 2010.
Below are the states with the biggest changes in applications. The data are for the week ended April 30, one week behind the national figures. Nationwide, applications jumped by 47,000 that week.
States with the biggest drops in applications:
New Jersey: Down 4,004, due to fewer layoffs in the transportation, warehousing, service and manufacturing industries
California: Down 3,145, no reason given
Massachusetts: Down 2,966, due to fewer layoffs in transportation and services
Florida: Down 2,156, due to fewer layoffs in trade, services, manufacturing and agriculture
Maryland: Down 1,877, no reason given
States with the largest increases:
New York: Up 24,431, due to layoffs in the transportation and services industries
Michigan: Up 3,948, no reason given
Wisconsin: Up 3,746, no reason given
North Carolina: Up 2,749, due to layoffs in the construction, service, textile, and electrical equipment industries
Ohio: Up 2,319, due to layoffs in the auto and construction industries
Oregon: Up 2,176, due to a new extended benefits program
Tennessee: Up 1,932, due to layoffs in trade, services and manufacturing