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States with the biggest changes in jobless aid applications, and some reasons, at a glance

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The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to nearly the lowest level in seven years, a sign that hiring may be picking up. The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000.

Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The data is for the week that ended May 17, one week behind the national figures:

States with the biggest decreases:

Wisconsin: Down 1,870, no reason given

New York: Down 1,348, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, professional, scientific and technical services, and manufacturing

Minnesota: Down 1,001, no reason given

States with the biggest increases:

Michigan: Up 5,809, due to layoffs in the wholesale industry

California: Up 4,477, due to layoffs in services

Kansas: Up 2,492, due to layoffs in manufacturing

Missouri: Up 2,034, due to layoffs in manufacturing, hotels and restaurants, and health care

Pennsylvania: Up 1,181, due to layoffs in restaurants, retail and manufacturing

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