Business News

Louisiana unemployment rate falls, but so do payrolls

by Jeff Amy, Associated Press

Louisiana's job market sputtered in January as the state recorded the third-highest unemployment rate among the states.

The state's jobless rate fell to 7 percent from 7.2 percent in December. That's well above the 5.5 percent the state recorded in January 2014.

Unemployment increases have been driven in recent months by a rapidly increasing number of job seekers, outstripping the number of new jobs being created.

A separate survey shows payrolls fell by 7,500 in January, although employers report 25,000 more jobs than in January 2014.

Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes — were released Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department.

The report found 154,000 Louisianans were unemployed in January. That's down by almost 6,000 from December but more than 38,000 above January 2014.