How US states fared on jobless aid applications
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell sharply for the fourth straight week, a sign the job market may be improving. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000. That's the lowest level in two months and second-lowest this year.
Here are the states with the biggest increases in applications. No state reported large drops. The state data are for the week ended Dec. 1, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest increases:
California: Up 24,411, due to processing of claims left over from Thanksgiving week, and layoffs in services and agriculture
Pennsylvania: Up 14,636, due to layoffs in construction, transportation, hotels, restaurants and professional services
North Carolina: Up 13,961, no reason given
New York: Up 11,025, due to layoffs in transportation, construction, and restaurants
Texas: Up 10,435, due to processing of claims left over from Thanksgiving week
Georgia: Up 8,708, due to layoffs in manufacturing, construction, health care, and hotels and restaurants
Illinois: Up 8,478, due to layoffs in the construction, manufacturing and administrative industries