State unemployment benefits rolls swelled again last week, reflecting the impact of Hurricane Laura as 256,184 continuing claims were paid compared to 249,610 one week before. 

First-time claims filed last week increased again to 24,566 from 16,191 the week before, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

More typical figures are reflected in year-ago claims: 1,683 initial weekly claims and 15,215 total receiving unemployment benefits. 

The impact of Hurricane Laura in the growing ranks of unemployed Louisiana residents was shown in Calcasieu Parish, where 7,225 new unemployment claims were filed. Many residents of southwest Louisiana are still evacuated and not able to return to their homes until power is restored to the region.

There were 1,110 new unemployment claims filed as of Sept. 5 that were considered out of state, records show.

Along with the nearly 256,184 traditional unemployed workers, another 134,087 freelancers, independent contractors and other "gig" workers are receiving benefits and are counted separately. That number had topped 150,000.

The largest slice of new unemployment claims in Louisiana continues to be employees in accommodation and food services, with 4,139 employees freshly out of work last week, followed by 3,115 in health care and social assistance; 2,769 in retail trade; 2,573 in construction; and 2,218 who had not yet been classified into a specific job sector. 

For those continuing on unemployment, hospitality jobs still lead with 56,521 individuals on jobless benefits, followed by retail trade, 28,078; health care and social assistance, 24,880; construction, 23,296; administrative and waste services, 19,697; and manufacturing, 11,648. 

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