(AP) - The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted last week to 339,000, the fewest since February 2008. If sustained, the lower level could signal stronger hiring.
Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The state data are for the week ended Sept. 29, one week behind the national data:
States with the biggest declines:
Mississippi: Down 3,393, no reason given
Michigan: Down 2,639, no reason given
Florida: Down 1,972, due to fewer layoffs in agriculture, construction, and wholesale trade
Ohio: Down 1,723, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing
Oregon: Down 1,135, no reason given
States with the biggest increases:
New York: Up 2,764, due to layoffs in construction, transportation and food services
California: Up 2,069, no reason given
North Carolina: Up 1,217, due to layoffs in construction and manufacturing
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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