Created on Thursday, 28 February 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped last week, a sign that companies are laying off fewer workers and may start hiring more. Applications fell 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 344,000, the Labor Department said.
Here are the states with the biggest changes in applications. The state data is for the week ended Feb. 16, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest decreases:
Illinois: Down 3,285, due to fewer layoffs in construction, administrative support, and trade
Kansas: Down 3,114, no reason given
Pennsylvania: Down 2,865, due to fewer layoffs in construction, professional, retail and wood products
Florida: Down 2,442, due to fewer layoffs in construction, agriculture, manufacturing and retail
Ohio: Down 2,265, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, transportation, and finance
Missouri: Down 1,748, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, administrative support and construction
States with the biggest increases:
California: Up 26,683, due to layoffs in all sectors
Connecticut: Up 1,747, no reason given