- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana’s jobless rate increased and payrolls kept falling in September.

The state’s unemployment rate rose to 6.4 percent in September from 6.3 percent in August and 6 percent in September 2015. Though job seekers decreased, the number of unemployed Louisianans rose to 137,000 in September - 3,000 above August and 10,000 above September 2015.

Louisiana’s jobless rate was third-worst among states, with Alaska worst at 6.9 percent. The nationwide jobless rate rose to 5 percent in September from 4.9 percent in August.

The separate payroll survey, used by many economists as their top labor market indicator, fell 3,000 from August to 1.97 million. Payrolls are 20,000 below September 2015 levels, signaling economic deterioration.

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

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