The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000 last week, the lowest level in nearly six years. The decline means that employers are cutting fewer jobs. Still, hiring has been slow to pick up.
Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in unemployment benefit applications. The state data are for the week that ended Aug. 3, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest increases:
California: Up 3,715, due to layoffs in the service industry
Ohio: Up 1,270, due to layoffs in manufacturing
Texas: Up 1,151, no reason given
States with the biggest decreases:
Oregon: Down 1,638, no reason given