NEW ORLEANS — Unemployment fell for the eighth straight month in Louisiana, even as payrolls again shrank in December.

The jobless rate fell to 4.6 percent in December from 4.7 percent in November, as more people entered the labor force and more found jobs. Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 6 percent a year ago.

About 97,000 Louisianans were jobless, down about 1,000 from November.

December’s U.S. unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, the same as in November but below December 2017’s 4.7 percent.

The separate survey of how many people are on employer payrolls, many economists’ top labor market indicator, continued a multi-month downward trend, falling to 1.97 million in December in Louisiana. That remains 5,000 higher than December 2016.

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

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