SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) — California’s unemployment picture improved despite the fact that more Americans sought unemployment benefits last week.

Data on unemployment claims shows the level of applications nationwide is still consistent with steady hiring. Weekly applications rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 354,000. The four-week average rose 6,750 to 347,250, the third straight gain. The average fell to a five-year low earlier this month.

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Here are the states with the biggest changes in applications. The state data are for the week ended May 18, one week behind the national data:

States with the biggest decreases:

California: Down 16,334, due to fewer layoffs in the service industry

Georgia: Down 1,802, due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, and administrative and support services

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Illinois: Down 1,198, no reason given

States with the biggest increases:

South Carolina: Up 1,263, due to layoffs in manufacturing

Tennessee: Up 1,191, due to layoffs in administrative and support services, restaurants and trade contractors

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