The State Labor Department's  figures show initial claims for benefits increased by 345 for the week ending July 16th. Now, that figure is lower than it was at the same time last year, but the four week average did increase by a small margin of 58 claims.  Ongoing claims for unemployment increased by a little over 1,100 claims for the week before. 

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in June from the 8.2 percent rate in May. The report states that Louisiana has 27,800 more private sector jobs than a
year ago.