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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, which suggests that layoffs remain low and that companies anticipate continued economic growth.
Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The state-level data are for the week ended Feb. 22, one week behind the national level data:
States with the biggest increases:
Georgia: Up 7,383, due to layoffs in manufacturing, construction, administrative services, accommodations, restaurants and health care and social assistance
Massachusetts: Up 3,502, due to layoffs in education
South Carolina: Up 3,320, due to layoffs in education
Connecticut: Up 1,376, no reason given
Alabama: Up 1,259, due to layoffs in construction and manufacturing
States with the biggest decreases:
California: Down 4,973, due to fewer layoffs in services
Missouri: Down 3,642, due to fewer layoffs in construction, transportation and warehousing, accommodations and restaurants
New York: Down 3,572, due to fewer layoffs in construction, restaurants and retail
Michigan: Down 2,322, due to fewer layoffs in wholesale trade
Oregon: Down 1,810, due to returns to previous trend levels after inclement weather
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