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State ranks high in unemployment filings

Wisconsin had the nation's 6th-largest increase in the numbers of people filing for unemployment benefits last week.

The U.S. Labor Department said Nov. 21 that the Badger State had an increase of 1,674 jobless-benefit applications from the previous week. No reason was given.

Nationally, first-time unemployment applications dropped by 4,000 from the previous week - when the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy caused the largest jump in jobless benefit requests in 18 months.

New York had the biggest increase last week, with almost 44,000 more unemployment filings than the week before. The hike was blamed on temporary layoffs in construction, transportation, and the restaurant business due to the hurricane.

New Jersey had the second-largest increase followed by California, where layoffs in service industries caused almost 25,000 people to seek jobless benefits for the first time.

Pennsylvania and Connecticut were next, followed by Wisconsin. Ohio had the largest decreases in jobless benefit requests, nearly 5,000 fewer than the previous week.