The rate of unemployment in Louisiana is slowly closing its gap with the national rate.

The state's jobless rate now stands at 7.1% as 2,800 more workers joined the jobless ranks last month. The current national jobless rate is at 8.2%. The number of those listed as unemployed rose to 147,100 last month from 144,300 in February and 141,900 in January.

The state's jobless rate has increased by a tenth of a percent over the past couple of reports,  going from 7% in  February  and 6.9% in January. In the meantime first-time claims for unemployment shot  up nearly 15-percent last week alone. There were 3,606 initial filings for the week ending April 14. That's up by 465 from the previous week's 3,141.

But the good news is the unemployment rate now is still lower than the 7.5% rate Louisiana had at this time last year. Also, Louisiana's workforce actually rose by 4,100 between February and March.