- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana’s unemployment rate rose in March, as more people entered the labor force than could find jobs.

The jobless rate rose to 6.1 percent, up from 5.9 percent in February, but below March 2015’s rate of 6.6 percent.

A separate survey shows payrolls were flat in March from February, but remained 13,000 below year-ago levels, signaling continued weakness in Louisiana’s economy.

Oil and gas employment fell by 10,000 over the year.

The unemployment rate ties for seventh-worst among states, remaining above the nation’s 5 percent rate.

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

The number of unemployed Louisianans rose to 132,000 in March, up by 5,000 from February, but about 12,000 fewer than in March 2015.

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