By The Associated PressWeekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits ticked up slightly last week, the latest sign of slow but consistent gains in the job market. The Labor Department said Thursday that applications rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 371,000, the most in five weeks. The previous week's total was revised lower. Here are the states with the biggest changes in applications. The state data are for the week ended Dec. 29, one week behind the nation figures: States with the biggest increases: Michigan: Up 15,107, due to layoffs in manufacturing. Pennsylvania: Up 12,483, due to layoffs in the transportation, construction, and food and beverage manufacturing industries. Wisconsin: Up 6,748, no reason given. New Jersey: Up 3,436, due to layoffs in education. Missouri: Up 3,057, due to layoffs in transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing. Iowa: Up 2,804, due to processing applications left over from holiday week. North Carolina: Up 2,300, due to layoffs in the machinery, lumber and wood products, transportation and warehousing, automotive repair, and textile industries. States with the biggest decreases: Florida: Down 11,015, due to fewer layoffs in the agriculture, construction, manufacturing and retail industries. Texas: Down 7,475, because state unemployment offices were closed Dec. 24-26. Virginia: Down 3,148, no reason given. Illinois: Down 2,755, no reason given. Oklahoma: Down 1,782, no reason given.