WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 19,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the fewest since January 2008. The decline shows the job market continues to strengthen.
Below are the states with the biggest changes in weekly claims for unemployment benefits and some of the reasons for the shifts. The state-by-state data are for the week that ended July 20, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest drops in claims:
--New York: Down 14,966, due to fewer layoffs in transportation, construction and educational services
--Pennsylvania: Down 8,817, due to fewer layoffs in construction; professional, scientific and technical services; transportation and manufacturing
--Alabama: Down 6,019, due to fewer layoffs in the manufacturing service industry
--Georgia: Down 5,504, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, administrative and support services, construction, hotels and food services
--Wisconsin: Down 3,324, no reason given
State with the biggest increase in claims:
--California: Up 7,723, due to layoffs in the services industry
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