Published: Jul 03, 2013 10:54 AM EDT

Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, evidence that layoffs remain low and job gains steady. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the Labor Department said.
    
Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases in applications. The state level figures are for the week ended June 22, one week behind the national data:
    
States with the biggest decreases:
    
Pennsylvania: Down 4,238, due to fewer layoffs in transportation, construction, entertainment, hotels and restaurants, and health care
    
Florida: Down 2,050, due to fewer layoffs in agriculture, construction, and retail
    
North Carolina: Down 2,009, due to fewer layoffs in construction, transportation and warehousing
    
Ohio: Down 1,679, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, retail and consumer lending
    
Kentucky: Down 1,466, no reason given
    
Illinois: Down 1,298, no reason given
    
States with the biggest increases:
    
California: Up 6,181, due to layoffs in services
    
New Jersey: Up 4,952, due to layoffs in transportation and warehousing, hotels and restaurants, education and manufacturing
    
Oregon: Up 2,076, due to layoffs in education
    
New York: Up 1,882, due to layoffs in restaurants, construction and health care

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