NEW ORLEANS — Unemployment improved in Louisiana in September, but payrolls gave back some earlier gains.

The jobless rate fell to 5.1 percent in September from 5.2 percent in August, as more people entered the labor force and more found jobs. Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent a year ago.

A total of 106,000 Louisianans were jobless, down slightly from August.

Louisiana’s jobless rate tied for sixth-highest among states, with Alaska worst at 7.2 percent. The U.S. rate fell to 4.2 percent in September from August’s 4.4 percent.

The separate payroll survey, economists’ top labor market indicator, continued to slack off from big early-summer gains. It fell to 1.98 million in Louisiana, still about 15,000 higher than in September 2017.

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

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