- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

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

The jobless rate rose to 6.3 percent, up from 6.1 percent in March, but below April 2015’s 6.5 percent rate.

A separate survey shows payrolls eked out small gains in April, but remained 12,000 below year-ago levels, signaling continued weakness in Louisiana’s economy.

Oil and gas employment losses slowed, but levels remained nearly 9,000 below last year.

The unemployment rate is fourth-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 136,000 in April, up by 4,000 from March, but about 5,000 fewer than in April 2015.

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