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

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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

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