Published: Feb 17, 2011 5:38 PM EST
Updated: Feb 17, 2011 2:38 PM EST

More people applied for unemployment benefits last week after applications had dropped to the lowest level in nearly three years in the previous week. That improvement had reflected the fact government offices had been closed the previous week in many states because of severe winter weather, preventing people from applying for benefits.

Below are the states with the largest declines and increases in unemployment benefit applications for the week of Feb. 5. The state figures are one week behind the national figures.

 States with largest declines:

Florida: Down 4,542, due to fewer layoffs in the construction, trade, services, manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

Texas: Down 3,657, due to fewer applications for benefits because of inclement weather throughout the state as well as fewer layoffs in insurance, real estate, trade, services and manufacturing industries.

South Carolina: Down 2,780, due to fewer layoffs in the manufacturing industry.

Tennessee: Down 2,535, due to fewer layoffs in construction, trade and services.

Georgia: Down 1,718, due to fewer layoffs in the service and manufacturing industries.

New York: Down 1,718 due to fewer layoffs in the construction, trade and transportation industries.

 State with the largest increases:

Michigan: Up 2,693. The state supplied no reason for the increase.

North Carolina: Up 1,222, due to more layoffs in the construction and furniture industries.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)