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La.'s Economy May Let It Reject Part Of Stimulus

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says his state will not accept $100 million for federal unemployment assistance from the economic stimulus because it would require the state to change its law on unemployment benefits.

Jim Richardson, professor of economics and director of the Public Administration Institute at Louisiana State University, says the state's approximately 5 percent unemployment rate is better than other states.

"Right now ... you don't see the signs of a recession," Richardson tells NPR's Michele Norris.

He says the state has been relatively untouched because it does not have a durable-goods industry like Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. But, he says, the state does produce plastics and chemicals, which are used to make durable goods.

"We're not immune from this recession by any stretch of the imagination," Richardson says. "It has not been as powerful for us to this point as it has been in some other states."

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