State leads nation in decline in unemployment assistance

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted last week to 339,000, the fewest since February 2008. If sustained, the lower level could signal stronger hiring.

The state data are for the week ended Sept. 29, one week behind the national data.

States with the biggest declines were:

• Mississippi: Down 3,393, no reason given

• Michigan: Down 2,639, no reason given

• Florida: Down 1,972, due to fewer layoffs in agriculture, construction, and wholesale trade

• Ohio: Down 1,723, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing

• Oregon: Down 1,135, no reason given

States with the biggest increases were:

• New York: Up 2,764, due to layoffs in construction, transportation and food services

• California: Up 2,069, no reason given

• North Carolina: Up 1,217, due to layoffs in construction and manufacturing

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