South Carolina saw one of the biggest decreases in the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week, a new report shows.

The figure for the state fell by 1,538. It was attributed largely to fewer layoffs in the manufacturing industry.

The other states with the biggest decreases were California, Pennsylvania, New York and North Carolina.

Nationwide, the number of applicants was unchanged last week, and the four-week average fell to its lowest point in four years the Labor Department said today.

The figures add to evidence that show the job market is improving.