How states fared on jobless benefit claims

WASHINGTON — Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week to a seasonally adjusted 344,000, highest since late February. The four-week average for claims also rose slightly, to 320,000. Economists weren’t especially worried by the increases. They say the numbers were muddied by temporary layoffs around the Easter holiday and spring break at many school systems around the country. Moreover, claims remain at pre-recession levels.

Here are the states with the biggest decreases and increases in applications. The data is for the week that ended April 19, one week behind the national figures:

States with the biggest decreases:

—Texas: Down 3,118, no reason given

—California: Down 2,887, no reason given

—Pennsylvania: Down 2,738, due to fewer layoffs in construction and administrative and support services

—New York: Down 1,740, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, retail and construction

—Indiana: Down 1,577, no reason given

States with the biggest increases:

—New Jersey: Up 4,652, due to layoffs in the educational services industry

—Connecticut: Up 2,073, due to layoffs in educational services; transportation and warehousing; hotels and food service; and public administration

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