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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Louisiana payrolls slump in March, reversing February gain

Louisiana payrolls slump in March, reversing February gain

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana's unemployment rate ticked back up to 5.8 percent in April from 5.7 percent in March, as more people entered the labor force than could find jobs.

The jobless rate remained below last April's 6.2 percent. A total of 123,000 Louisianans were jobless, up 3,000 from March, but below the 133,000 in April 2016.

Louisiana's jobless rate is third-highest among states, with New Mexico worst at 6.7 percent.

The nationwide rate fell to 4.4 percent in April from March's 4.5 percent.

A separate survey showed employer payrolls rose slightly to 1.97 million in April, after dropping sharply in March. Considered by many economists' top labor market indicators, payrolls remained slightly below last year's level, a sign of economic weakness.

The U.S. Labor Department released figures Friday, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes.

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