Louisiana's agricultural economy had its second straight record year in 2013, bringing the state more than $11.8 billion, according to a report released Monday by the LSU AgCenter. That's 3.5 percent more than in 2012, when the state broke a record set in 2007.

Louisiana set a record in January with 1,990,531 people employed, which helped lower the unemployment rate to 4.9 percent, state labor officials said.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.

Who joined whom or got promoted?

HomeSales Carousel
Increases in higher-end home sales say a lot about the health of the overall market.

The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 2,332 from the previous week's average of 2,566.

risperdalThe Supreme Court of Louisiana has thrown out nearly $331 million in damages, attorneys fees and court costs against two pharmaceutical companies sued by state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Monday that initial claims fell to 2,726 from the previous week's total of 3,330. There were 3,850 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.

Last year's Lafayette Parish home sales soared, besting 2012 by 21 percent.

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In Louisiana's latest tax amnesty period, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration added a new twist, letting companies settle their back-owed taxes with unused tax credits, instead of paying cash.

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates $800 million of sales tax revenue annually in Louisiana is not collected and remitted by internet vendors.

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