Employer payrolls fell by 7,000 in August to 1.97 million after months of stability. Used by many economists as their top labor market indicator, payrolls were 19,000 below August 2015 levels.
The Louisiana unemployment rate was flat in August at 6.3 percent. But that separate survey of workers showed lower numbers of people seeking and holding jobs. The number of unemployed Louisianans fell slightly to 134,000 in August.
Louisiana retained the fourth-highest jobless rate among states, with Alaska worst at 6.8 percent. The nationwide jobless rate stayed flat at 4.9 percent.
Both sets of figures, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes, were released Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department.