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State's unemployment claims spike

Wisconsin had the nation's fifth-largest increase in new claims for unemployment benefits, according to labor officials.

As of March 30, claims had increased by 1,600 compared to the week before. The state did not give a reason.

Pennsylvania had the largest increase, and its officials blame layoffs in construction, health care, transportation, construction, and the entertainment industry. New Jersey had the second-largest increase, followed by Illinois, Kentucky, and then Wisconsin.

Nationally, March was a weak month for job growth. But the government said things got better as April progressed. Officials said today that new jobless claims nationally fell by $346,000 last week - after two weeks of large gains.