Louisiana lost 3,800 nonfarm jobs over the 12-month period through March, with the struggling oil and gas industry again leading the downturn.

Losses in seven job sectors overpowered gains in three others, sinking the job count by 0.2 percent to 1,969,800 nonfarm jobs, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figures were not adjusted for seasonal factors.

The state gained jobs in construction, 7,300, or 5.0 percent; professional and business services, 3,200 jobs, or 1.5 percent; and education and health services, 7,600 jobs, or 2.4 percent.

Mining, which primarily is the oil and gas sector, lost 5,400 jobs, or 13.5 percent; manufacturing, 3,900 jobs, or 2.8 percent; trade, transportation and utilities, 3,900 jobs, or 1.0 percent; information, 1,800 jobs, or 7.3 percent; financial services, 400 jobs, or 0.4 percent; leisure and hospitality, 3,300 jobs, or 1.4 percent; and state, local and federal government, 3,200 jobs, or 1.0 percent.

Other services was unchanged.

The state's unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, dropped to 5.7 percent from 6.2 percent a year ago. The U.S. rate is 4.5 percent, down from 5.0 percent a year ago. The unemployment rate can decrease from people finding work and those who've given up looking for jobs.