Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits tumbled last week and are now at levels consistent with a healthy job market.
The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless aid fell 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000. The less-volatile four-week moving average rose 4,750 to 300,750. Jobless claims are at levels last seen before the 2007-2009 Great Recession.
Here are the states with the biggest increases in applications. No state saw a drop of more than 1,000. The unadjusted data is for the week of Aug. 9, one week behind the national figures:
States with the biggest increases:
— California: Up 10,107, due to layoffs in services.
— New York: Up 1,928, due to layoffs in food service, transportation and warehousing and construction.
— Massachusetts: Up 1,451, due to layoffs in retail.
— Michigan: Up 1,423, due to layoffs in manufacturing.
— Florida: Up 1,236, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, the wholesale trade, retail and services.