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

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell 9,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, lowering applications to pre-recession levels. Weekly applications have fallen for four straight weeks, suggesting that companies are cutting fewer jobs.

Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications:

States with the biggest declines:

California: Down 4,460, due to fewer layoffs in services and retail

Virginia; Down 1,807, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing

States with the biggest increases:

Oregon: Up 2,956, no reason given

Florida: Up 2,873, due to layoffs in construction, wholesale trade, and retail

Illinois: Up 2,460, no reason given

New York; Up 2,033, due to layoffs in restaurants, construction and arts, entertainment and recreation

Pennsylvania: Up 1,542, due to layoffs in retail, construction and manufacturing

Georgia: Up 1,188, due to layoffs in manufacturing, trade, and health care

States with the biggest decreases: