Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000. Despite the increase, claims are still close to pre-recession levels and a sign the job market has improved after a winter slowdown.
Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The data is for the week that ended March 22, one week behind the national figures:
States with the biggest decreases:
California: Down 8,725, due to fewer layoffs in services
Nebraska: down 1,121, no reason given
States with the biggest increases:
Texas: Up 2,424, due to layoffs in education
Florida: Up 1,698, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retailing and services