States with the biggest changes in jobless aid applications, and some reasons, at a glance

The Associated Press 0

Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, evidence that layoffs remain low and hiring could pick up.

The Labor Department said that weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the lowest in six weeks.

Here are the states with the biggest changes in applications. The state-level data are for the week ended Jan. 4, one week behind the national figures:

States with the biggest increases:

New York: Up 28,314, due to more layoffs in transportation and warehousing, construction and education

Georgia: Up 18,734, due to layoffs in manufacturing, administrative services, construction, and transportation and warehousing

South Carolina: Up 9,632, due to layoffs in manufacturing and administrative support services

Alabama: Up 6,782, due to layoffs in manufacturing and administrative support services

Texas: Up 6,638, no reason given

States with the biggest decreases:

Michigan: Down 17,635, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing

New Jersey: Down 6,882, due to fewer layoffs in educational services and public administration

Massachusetts: Down 5,485, due to bad weather delaying applications for benefits

Ohio: Down 5,482, due to fewer layoffs in transportation, manufacturing, and retail

Iowa: Down 4,212, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing

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