- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana employer payrolls fell again in May, with the state’s unemployment rate holding steady at 6.3 percent, the third-highest rate among the states.

Payrolls, used by many economists as their top labor market indicator, have been falling since 2014’s end, in part because of heavy oil and gas job losses. May Louisiana payrolls were 18,000 below year-ago levels, signaling economic weakness.

The Louisiana jobless rate also measured 6.3 percent in April and in May 2015.

Alaska had the highest jobless rate nationwide at 6.7 percent. The nationwide jobless rate was 4.7 percent.

Both sets of figures, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes, were released this week by the state.

The number of unemployed Louisianans was flat from April to May at 136,000, about 1,000 fewer than in May 2015.

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