(AP) - The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 334,000 last week, a hopeful sign that steady job gains will continue.
The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average decreased 7,250 to 345,250. Both figures are close to the lowest in five years.
Here are the states with the biggest changes in applications. The state data are from the week that ended June 1, one week behind the national data:
States with the biggest decreases:
California: Down 8,796, due to fewer layoffs in the service and manufacturing industries
Florida: Down 3,250, due to fewer layoffs in the agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and retail industries
Pennsylvania: Down 1,923, due to fewer layoffs in the entertainment, hotels and restaurants, and transportation equipment industries
Texas: Down 1,876, no reason given
Missouri: Down 1,704, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, health care, and hotels and restaurants
States with the biggest increases:
Tennessee: Up 1,280, due to layoffs in the administrative and support services, transportation and food service industries
New York: Up 1,001, no reason given
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