WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor noted a decrease for seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims for the week ending April 21.
The advance figure was 321,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 341,000.
Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin and Mississippi all had fewer than expected layoffs in the industrial machinery, petroleum, mining and manufacturing industries.
South Carolina posted higher than expected layoffs in the manufacturing industry.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 14 were in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Indiana, while the largest decreases were in California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, and Washington.