The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose a slight 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, evidence that the job market's recovery remains modest and uneven. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, also ticked up. Economists said the figures suggest that job growth in August may turn out to be weaker than in July.
Here are the states with the biggest changes in unemployment aid applications. The state data is for the week that ended Aug. 11, one week behind the national figures.
States with the biggest decreases:
Michigan: Down 2,324, no reason given
Pennsylvania: Down 1,879, due to fewer layoffs in scientific and technology services, health care, transportation and retail
Indiana: Down 1,485, no reason given
Illinois: Down 1,223, due to fewer layoffs in construction, administrative support and retail
Massachusetts: Down 1,212, no reason given
States with biggest increases:
California: Up 7,941, due to layoffs in services