Business News

Unemployment rate falls in La. as labor force shrinks

by The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's unemployment rate ticked down in December, with jobless numbers falling because people continue leaving the labor force.

The jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in November, and remained below the 7.2 percent rate of December 2014.

The number of people reporting having a job fell for the seventh straight month from May's all-time high.

A separate survey showed payrolls fell in December, and are almost 18,000 below year-ago levels, warning Louisiana's economy may be shrinking. Mining employment has fallen by 10,000 over the year.

The unemployment rate was seventh-highest among states, and remained above the nation's 5 percent rate.

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

Unemployed Louisianans fell to 130,000, down 5,000 from November.