LA Jobless Rate Rises Even As Job Totals Hit Record Highs

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana's economy keeps creating jobs, but it can't keep up with the state's growing workforce.

         The state's unemployment rate rose in December for the eighth straight month, to 6.7 percent from 6.5 percent in November. Louisiana now ties for the sixth-highest jobless rate among the states.

         But at the same time, the state hit new all-time highs for jobs, as measured two different ways. People saying they had a job rose by 9,000 to nearly 2.05 million. A separate survey shows employer payrolls rose by more than 6,000 to 1.99 million.

         The jobless rate rose, though, because the number of job seekers grew faster than the number of jobs.

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

         – by AP Reporter Jeff Amy


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