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Unemployment benefits: a look state by state

Unemployment benefits: Nationwide, fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week than the week before, a sign of a strengthening job market. Here's the state-by-state breakdown.

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Jack Johnson, a state senator from Franklin, Tenn., speaks on the Senate floor in Nashville, Tenn., on April 1. Johnson was a main sponsor of a bill to do away with a weekly $15-per-child allowance as part of unemployment benefits. Tennessee's unemployment numbers are down.

Erik Schelzig/AP/File

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The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000 last week, evidence that the job market is still improving modestly.

Here are the states with the biggest increases or decreases in applications for unemployment benefits, and some reasons for the changes. The state figures are for the week ended June 15, one week behind the national data.

States with the biggest decreases in new applications for unemployment benefits:

Illinois: Down 3,401, due to fewer layoffs in construction, manufacturing, and administrative support

New York: Down 2,090, due to fewer layoffs in construction, hotels and food service, and finance

Georgia: Down 1,893, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, administrative support, health care, and hotels and restaurants

Missouri: Down 1,591, due to fewer layoffs in transportation and warehousing, construction, hotels and restaurants, and health care

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Tennessee: Down 1,542, no reason given

Oregon: Down 1,488, no reason given

States with the biggest increases:

California: Up 15,341, due to layoffs in services

Pennsylvania: Up 4,882, due to layoffs in transportation, hotels and restaurants, construction, and education

Florida: Up 4,850, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and retail

Michigan: Up 1,114, no reason given

Maryland: Up 1,065, no reason given

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