- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana’s unemployment rate ticked up in January, with jobless numbers rising because more people joined the labor force than found jobs.

The jobless rate rose to 5.9 percent from 5.8 percent in December, but stayed below the 6.9 percent rate of January 2015.

A separate survey showed payrolls rose slightly in January from December, but are more than 15,000 below year-ago levels, warning Louisiana’s economy may be shrinking. Mining employment has fallen by 12,000 over the year.

The unemployment rate was eighth-worst among states, remaining above the nation’s 4.9 percent rate.

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

The number of unemployed Louisianans was flat from December to January at 125,000, but about 25,000 fewer than in January 2015.

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