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How States Fared On Unemployment Benefit Claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000. Claims fell to their lowest point since May 2007_several months before the Great Recession started later that year. The decrease suggests strong momentum for hiring in the coming months.

Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The data is for the week that ended March 29, one week behind the national figures:

States with the biggest decreases:

Pennsylvania: Down 2,007, due to fewer layoffs in food service and construction

Texas: Down 1,821, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, support services and information

States with the biggest increases:

California: Up 17,626, due to layoffs in services

Oregon: Up 1,851, no reason given

Ohio: Up 1,200, due to layoffs in manufacturing and information

Kentucky: Up 1,119, no reason given

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