The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell 25,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy has faded. Weekly applications have fallen back to a level consistent with modest hiring.
Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The state level data is for the week ended Nov. 24, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest decreases:
New Jersey: Down 23,966, due to fewer storm-related claims from the construction, transportation, hotel and restaurant industries
California: Down 7,053, due to fewer layoffs in all sectors, primarily in the service industry
New York: Down 6,682, due to fewer layoffs in the restaurant, health care and transportation industries
Texas: Down 6,425, because state offices were closed for Thanksgiving
North Carolina: Down 2,609, due to fewer layoffs in restaurants, business services, health care, and machinery
States with the biggest increases:
Wisconsin: Up 5,876, no reason given
Oregon: Up 2,328, due to layoffs because of winter weather and holidays
Ohio: Up 2,252, no reason given
Washington: Up 2,107, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction and manufacturing
Iowa: Up 1,262, due to layoffs in manufacturing