States with the biggest changes in applications for unemployment benefits, and reasons why

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Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week to 348,000, the highest in about a month. But the broader trend in applications remains low. The Labor Department says that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased just 750 to 333,000, near pre-recession levels.

Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The state data is for the week ended Jan. 18, one week behind the national data:

States with the biggest decreases:

Pennsylvania: Down 16,595, due to fewer layoffs in administrative and support services, and transportation

Indiana: Down 10,740, no reason given

Texas: Down 8,789, no reason given

Georgia: Down 8,119, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, administrative and support services, construction, and hotels and food services

Massachusetts: Down 5,863, due to fewer layoffs in educational services and construction industries

States with the biggest increases:

California: Up 11,708, due to layoffs in services and agriculture

Oregon: Up 1,239, no reason given

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