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

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to 312,000 last week, a modest increase that still puts jobless aid close to its lowest level in seven years. The less volatile four-week moving average of applications declined to 310,250, the best reading since June 2007 and a sign that the job market has stabilized.

Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications, according to the Labor Department. The data is for the week that ended May 24, one week behind the national figures:

States with the biggest decreases:

Michigan: Down 6,683, due to fewer layoffs in wholesale trade

Kansas: Down 2,093, no reason given

Illinois: Down 1,407, due to fewer layoffs in construction, administrative services and trade industries

Pennsylvania: Down 1,249, due to fewer layoffs in food services, construction and manufacturing

California: Down 1,170, no reason given

States with the biggest increases:

New York: Up 1,347, due to layoffs in food services, construction and education