Associated Press Wire

Sep 18, 9:15 AM EDT

How states fared on unemployment benefit claims

Business Video

Multimedia
A district summary of the Beige Book
Measuring economic stress by county nationwide
Mall malaise: shoppers browse, but don't buy
Unemployment by the numbers
Family struggles with father's unemployment
Saying an affordable goodbye
Hard times hit small car dealer
Latest Economic News
Eurozone survey signals waning growth

100 arrested at Wall Street climate crisis sit-in

Investors breathe sigh of relief at Scottish vote

NY developer to invest $108 million in Puerto Rico

Ireland economy grows 7.7 percent, leads eurozone

Bank of England remains split on rates

French prime minister wins confidence vote

Egypt minister projects 6% growth in 3 years

World Bank: Palestinian economy to shrink in 2014

Ukraine, Scotland dent German investor optimism

Buy AP Photo Reprints

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Substantially fewer people sought unemployment benefits last week, which often points to employers feeling more confident about the economy and hiring more workers.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid fell 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 280,000. The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, dropped 4,750 to 299,500. The average is 7.1 percent lower than it was a year ago.

Here are the states with the biggest decreases and increases in applications. The data is for the week that ended Sept. 6, one week behind the national figures:

- States with biggest decreases:

California: Down 10,968, no reason given

New York: Down 2,811 due to fewer layoffs in transportation and warehousing, education, and health care and social assistance services

Michigan: Down 1,117, due to fewer layoffs in management

- States with the biggest increases:

New Jersey: Up 1,254, due to more layoffs in hotels and restaurants, administrative services, waste management, construction and real estate

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.