Unemployment ticked down in Louisiana in August as some people left the labor force.
The state's jobless rate fell to 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in July but above the 7.3 percent unemployment rate of August 2011.
Louisiana's jobless rate never rose as high as the nation's and fell to a post-recession low of 6.9 percent in January. Since then, jobless rates had risen in five out of six months. August was the first improvement since January.
The number of unemployed Louisianans fell to 154,000 from 158,000 in July. In August 2011, the state had 149,000 unemployed people.
A separate survey found total Louisiana payrolls rose slightly to 1.95 million in August. That's 2,000 above the July level, and 42,000 above the level a year ago.