New applications for unemployment benefits fell last week for the third time in four weeks, a sign layoffs may be slowing. But jobless benefit claims remain above 450,000, an elevated level that also indicates companies aren't hiring large numbers of new workers.
Here's a look at the states with the biggest changes in initial jobless claims, and some of the reasons for the shifts. The state data is for the week ending July 17, one week behind the nationwide figures.
States reporting the largest increases in claims:
California: Up 19,809, due to layoffs in the service industry
South Carolina: Up 5,115, due to layoffs in manufacturing
North Carolina: Up 4,512, due to layoffs in the textile, furniture, lumber, industrial machinery, computer equipment and food industries
Illinois: Up 3,183, due to layoffs in the construction, trade and manufacturing industries
Tennessee: Up 3,066, due to layoffs in the transportation equipment, electrical equipment and textile and apparel industries.
States reporting the largest decreases in claims:
New York: Down 19,552, due to fewer layoffs in the transportation and service industries
Indiana: Down 5,146, due to fewer layoffs in the auto and manufacturing sectors
Michigan: Down 4,491, due to fewer layoffs in the auto industry
Pennsylvania: Down 3,390, due to fewer layoffs in the transportation, construction and service industries.
Florida: Down 2,138, due to fewer layoffs in construction, services, manufacturing and agriculture.