Unemployment benefits: applications fall to five-month low

Unemployment benefits were sought in the lowest numbers since April, though applications for unemployment benefits did increase in some states.

Rick Bowmer/AP
Job seekers stand in line during U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's "Getting Southwest Washington Back to Work Job Fair," in Vancouver, Wash. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in 5 months.

Fewer people sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs are easing, though technical factors played a role in the drop.

Weekly applications fell 37,000 to 391,000, the lowest level in more than five months. A Labor Department spokesman said some of the drop was due to technical difficulties related to seasonally adjusting the figures.

Below are the states with the largest increases in applications. No states reported large drops. The data is for the week ended Sept. 17, one week behind the national data.

States with the biggest increases:

New York: Up 4,389, due to layoffs in construction, retail and service industries

Georgia: Up 3,038, due to layoffs in manufacturing, services and retail

Pennsylvania: Up 2,483, no reason given

Texas: Up 2,077, due to layoffs in manufacturing and services

Ohio: Up 2,014, due to layoffs in the auto industry.

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