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La. jobless rate rises in June for second month

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Louisiana's job market softened in June, as the unemployment rate rose for a second month in a row.

The state's jobless rate rose to 5 percent from 4.9 percent in May. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in June 2013.

A separate survey shows employers added 2,500 workers to payrolls in June. That's healthy growth and yet another record high.

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

Jobless rates fell in 22 states, rose in 14 and were flat in 14. Mississippi and Rhode Island tied for the nation's worst jobless rate at 7.9 percent, while North Dakota retained the lowest unemployment rate at 2.8 percent.

The national unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in June from 6.3 percent in May. That's also lower than the 7.5 percent rate in June 2013.

The number of unemployed Louisianans rose by almost 2,000 in June to about 105,000. The labor force shrank, as did the number of people reporting they had jobs.

The unemployment rate is calculated by a survey that asks how many people are looking for a job. A second survey each month asks employers how many people are on their payrolls, a measure many economists use as their top labor market indicator.

Louisiana's nonfarm payrolls rose to 1.97 million in people in June, up 2,000 from May and 19,000 higher than a year ago. It was the second month in a row that payrolls hit a new record high for the state, but the number grew more slowly than in May, when payrolls jumped by 8,500 jobs.

Louisiana has seen strong payroll growth since the beginning of 2010, with payrolls rising 5 percent during that time, far outstripping the number of jobs lost during the recession.

Payrolls rose in June in sectors including trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality; construction and manufacturing. They fell in professional and business services, education and health services, financial activities and government.

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Online: State employment report: http://1.usa.gov/104hKGL

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Follow Jeff Amy at: http://twitter.com/jeffamy

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