By The Associated Press
---- — Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits plunged last week to 359,000. It was the lowest level in about 2 months and a hopeful sign that the job market could improve.
Here are the states with the biggest changes in applications. The state data are for the week ended Sept. 15, one week behind the national data.
States with the biggest increases:
California: Up 18,522, due to processing of claims left over from holiday week
Michigan: Up 3,522, due to layoffs in administrative support and waste management services.
Florida: Up 2,018, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade.
New York: Up 1,969, due to layoffs in construction, retail trade and public administration.
Indiana: Up 1,739, due to layoffs in manufacturing.
Virginia: Up 1,709, due to layoffs in manufacturing.
State with the biggest decrease:
Louisiana: Down 4,150, no reason given.