How States Fared on Unemployment Benefits

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since early April, a sign the job market may be healing after a recent slump.

Below are the states with the biggest changes in weekly applications for benefits. The state data is for the week ending July 16, which is one week behind the national data. Applications rose nationwide that week:

States with the biggest drops in claims
  1. New York: Down 17,377, due to fewer layoffs in education-related services, transportation, and other service industries
  2. Minnesota: Down 10,352, due to fewer temporary layoffs from the state government shutdown
  3. Michigan: Down 7,039, due to fewer layoffs in the auto industry
  4. Ohio: Down 5,037, due to fewer layoffs in the auto industry
  5. Pennsylvania: Down 3,347, due to fewer layoffs in education-related services, metals, and other service industries

States with the biggest increases
  1. California: Up 20,813, as the state cleared a backlog that had formed in the July 4 holiday week
  2. Georgia: Up 6,567, due to layoffs in the manufacturing, trade service and construction industries
  3. North Carolina: Up 5,755, due to layoffs in the auto, furniture, textile, transportation and service industries
  4. South Carolina: Up 5,181, no reason given
  5. Florida: Up 4,236, due to layoffs in the agriculture, construction manufacturing, trade, retail and service industries

Next:10 States That Added the Most Jobs in the First Half of 2011

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