The number of people seeking unemployment aid fell to a seasonally adjusted 332,000 last week, reducing the monthly average of applications to a five-year low. The drop shows that fewer layoffs are strengthening the job market.
Here are the states with the biggest changes in applications. The state data are for the week ended March 2, one week behind the national figures.
States with the biggest decreases:
Massachusetts: Down 4,193, due to fewer layoffs in education and transportation
North Carolina: Down 1,146, due to fewer layoffs in the construction and transportation equipment industries
States with the biggest increases:
California: Up 11,720, due to layoffs in services
New York: Up 7,900, due to layoffs in transportation, food service, and education
Missouri: Up 2,722, due to layoffs in construction, transportation and warehousing and manufacturing
Kansas: Up 1,419, no reason given