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California leads nation in jobless benefits decrease

New requests for jobless benefits rose last week to the highest level in almost four months. Economists said the jump in claims is a cautionary sign that higher corporate profits and a slowly recovering economy aren’t spurring companies to generate many jobs.

Here’s a look at the states with the biggest declines in initial jobless claims, and some of the reasons for the shifts. No states reported large increases in claims, the Labor Department said.

The state data is for the week ending July 24, one week behind the nationwide figures.

States reporting the largest decreases in claims:

• California: Down 19,107, due to fewer layoffs in the service industry

• New York: Down 7,801, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, service and manufacturing industries

• North Carolina: Down 6,399, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, computer equipment, textile, furniture and primary metals industries

• Michigan: Down 5,984, no reason provided.

• Georgia: Down 5,863, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing.

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