La. jobless rate drops but payrolls fall sharply
Louisiana's unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent in December, but a separate survey of payrolls showed significant job losses last month.
Still, it capped a strong year for the state's labor market.
Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers released Friday show Louisiana unemployment fell from 5.8 percent in November and 7 percent in December 2011. Louisiana's jobless rate decreased fifth-most among states in 2012, in percentage point terms, while Nevada saw the largest drop.
Louisiana payrolls fell by 11,000 jobs, the third-largest decrease in the nation. But that reverse followed November's huge leap, which brought payrolls to an all-time high. The 1.95 million nonfarm employees in December remained near the historic peak.
The number of unemployed Louisianans fell to 115,000 from 120,000 in November. In December 2011, 145,000 Louisianans were unemployed.
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