States with the biggest changes in jobless aid applications, and some reasons, at a glance

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week, but fewer people overall are collecting benefits.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of jobless claims rose 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 302,000. Yet the drop-off in applications over the past two months means that a total of 2.46 million people were receiving unemployment aid, the lowest level since June 2007.

Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The data is for the week that ended August 23, one week behind the national figures:

States with the biggest increases:

New York: Up 2,560, due to layoffs in transportation and warehousing, education, and health care and social assistance services

Michigan: Up 1,845, due to layoffs in wholesale trade.

States with the biggest decreases:

Georgia: Down 1,269, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing

Massachusetts: Down 1,283, due to fewer layoffs in retail

Pennsylvania: Down 1,031, due to fewer layoffs in administrative services, transportation, education and construction

Iowa: Down 1,016, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing.