- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana’s payrolls posted their largest monthly gain in nearly four years in October.

Used by many economists as their top labor market indicator, payrolls rose 7,000 from September to 1.98 million. But they remain below year-ago levels, indicating continued economic weakness.

In a separate survey, Louisiana’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in October from 6.4 percent in September. It was above October 2015’s 5.9 percent. Job seekers continued exiting the market, decreasing numbers of people with jobs and without. There were 134,000 unemployed people in October.

Louisiana had October’s third-highest jobless rate among states, with Alaska worst at 6.8 percent. The nationwide jobless rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5 percent in September.

The U.S. Labor Department released both sets of figures Friday, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes.

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