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Originally published Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6:07 AM

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How states fared on unemployment benefit claims

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to a level consistent with steady job gains. The Labor Department said weekly applications dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000.

The Associated Press

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The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to a level consistent with steady job gains. The Labor Department said weekly applications dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000.

Here are the states with the biggest changes in unemployment aid applications. The state data are for the week ended Jan. 26, one week behind the national data.

States with the biggest decreases:

California: Down 20,414, due to fewer layoffs in services

Texas: Down 5,082, no reason given

Illinois: Down 4,865, due to fewer layoffs in construction and administrative support

Florida: Down 3,570, due to fewer layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, trade, retail and services

Michigan: Down 2,795, due to fewer layoffs in administrative support

Ohio: Down 2,588, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing

State with the biggest increases:

North Carolina: Up 2,030, due to layoffs in the construction, petroleum, and building material industries

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