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A man holds a sign hoping for a little money in New Orleans after being laid off. 

Louisiana's nonfarm employment fell by 133,900 jobs, or 6.7%, over the 12 months through August.

It is the most recent monthly employment data available. 

The state's unemployment rate was 7.6% in August, down from 9.4% in July, but still well above the 4.9% jobless rate posted in August 2019. The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.4%, up from 3.7% a year ago.

The coronavirus pandemic and related government restrictions to ensure public health led to an economic slowdown in Louisiana after a state-mandated stay-at-home order began in mid-March. It was partially lifted in mid-May in a  phased-in approach for some types of businesses and not others. That has led to an economic recovery that is not evenly distributed across industries and communities. In early September, the state entered Phase 3, the most open the state has been for capacity of customers and employees indoors since March. 

Louisiana had 1,845,400 nonfarm jobs in August, according to preliminary numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

That's an improvement of 23,100 jobs since July across the state. 

Construction fell by 16,100 jobs over the year and there was no change between July and August, for a total of 123,000 workers in that sector. 

Manufacturing lost 8,000 jobs over the year, with a 700-job decline between July and August, for a total of 128,700 people in this sector. Inside that figure, more jobs were lost in durable goods manufacturing, such as transportation equipment and other long-lasting goods, than nondurable goods, such as food manufacturing.

Trade, transportation and utilities lost 13,300 jobs over the year, with a 5,100 jobs recovery between July and August for 364,500 total workers.

Mining and logging, which includes the oil and gas sector, was down 7,200 jobs to 30,000 workers. Between July and August oil and gas lost 700 jobs across the state. 

Information lost 3,500 jobs to 18,600; financial activities lost 900 jobs to 91,700; other services lost 3,200 jobs to 71,100. 

Leisure and hospitality lost 44,500 jobs through August, but had regained 3,600 jobs between July and August, for a total of 193,900 workers. 

Education and health services lost 22,200 jobs over the year, but added back 2,600 jobs between July and August for 299,600 total. 

Professional and business services lost 14,700 jobs over the year, but regained 2,700 jobs between July and August for 200,600 total. 

Total government added 500 jobs over the year, including 10,000 between July and August. Inside that figure, the federal government added 3,400 jobs in Louisiana alongside 2,400 jobs in state government. Meanwhile, local government shed 5,300 jobs over the year.

Nevada, another state with significant casino activity akin to Louisiana, had the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 13.2%, then Rhode Island at 12.8%, while Hawaii and New York were at 12.5% in August. 

In other Gulf Coast states, Alabama's unemployment rate was 5.6%; Mississippi, 7.9%; Florida, 7.4%; and Texas, 6.8%.

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Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.