Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, an encouraging sign that the job market is slowly healing. Weekly applications fell 9,000 to 397,000, only the third time since April that the figure has dropped below 400,000.

Here are the states with the biggest increases and decreases. The state data is for the week ended Oct. 22, one week behind the national figures.

States with the biggest increases:

California: Up 7,176, due to layoffs in the service industry

New York: Up 2,494, due to layoffs in the construction, finance, insurance and transportation industries

Illinois: Up 2,057, due to layoffs in construction, services and trade

Georgia: Up 1,642, due to layoffs in construction, services, trade and manufacturing

Pennsylvania: Up 1,579, due to layoffs in construction, retail, services, and healthcare

Tennessee: Up 1,493, due to layoffs in manufacturing and services

States with the biggest decreases:

Florida: Down 2,230, due to fewer layoffs in agriculture, manufacturing, trade, retail and services