Aug 18, 2014 12:53 PM by AP
Louisiana's unemployment rate rose for the third straight month in July, but employer payrolls continued to grow strongly, telling two different stories about the state's labor market.
The state's jobless rate rose to 5.4 percent in July from 5 percent in June. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in July 2013.
A separate survey shows employers added 7,700 workers to payrolls in July. That's a big monthly increase and another record high.
Louisiana remains below the nation's 6.2 percent jobless rate.
The figures - adjusted to cancel out normal seasonal changes - were released Monday by the U.S. Labor Department.
The number of unemployed Louisianans rose by nearly 9,000 in July to almost 114,000. People reporting they had jobs shrank slightly, but the labor force grew strongly, driving up the jobless rate.