The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to nearly the lowest level since June 2008, a sign that employers are cutting fewer jobs. Applications fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000. That's just 1,000 above a five-year low reached last month, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Here are the states with increases and decreases of more than 1,000. The state data are for the week that ended Aug. 24, one week behind the national data:
States with the biggest decreases:
California: Down 2,544, due to fewer layoffs in the service industry
Missouri: Down 1,713, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing and construction
States with the biggest increases:
New York: Up 3,568, due to layoffs in transportation, education, and health care