Louisiana’s Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.8 Percent; Nearly 28,000 Private-Sector Jobs Gained In Last 12 Months

From a release this afternoon out of the Louisiana Workforce Commission comes some news that won’t hurt Gov. Bobby Jindal’s re-election prospects, and appears to weaken the argument of those who denigrate his economic record…

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in June from the revised May rate of 8.2 percent, and Louisiana employers continued to report annual gains in private sector jobs, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) said today.

A survey of Louisiana employers by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show over-the-year gains in nonfarm private sector jobs for nine consecutive months, with 27,800 more private sector jobs in the state than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment totaled 1,906,500 jobs in June, reflecting an over-the-year increase of 12,600 jobs, with 15,200 fewer government jobs in the state than in June 2010.

A separate BLS survey of households is used to estimate the state’s civilian labor force, the number of people employed and unemployed, and the unemployment rate. Louisiana was one of eight states in the nation with a decrease in their unemployment rate in June. The state’s rate at 7.8 percent was tied with Maine for the 21st lowest in the nation and was the fourth lowest in the Southern region. The Southern region rate for June was 8.9 percent. The national rate increased to 9.2 percent.

According to the household survey, the estimated number of unemployed in the state in June was at the lowest level for 2011, decreasing to 160,418. The state’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — for June 2011 was 2,045,363, a decrease of 15,185 from May. The number of people employed in June decreased 5,924 to 1,884,945.

The June 2011 estimates are the fourth monthly set produced by BLS using a new methodology that reduces state input and may result in an increase in variability from one month to the next.

“Even with the new reporting methodology, the employer survey findings consistently show that the private sector is adding nonfarm jobs,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “With the number of estimated unemployed also at the lowest level so far this year, indicators show we are moving in the right direction.”

The employer survey showed industry sectors with annual job gains were education and health services, 280,800, up 9,700 jobs over the year; leisure and hospitality, 201,300, up 8,000; manufacturing, up 6,000 jobs to 144,000; trade, transportation, and utilities, 369,700, up 4,900 workers; information, 29,200, up 2,200 since June 2010; other services, up 500 to 66,600; and mining and logging, 52,300, up 400 jobs. In addition to the over-the-year 15,200-job decrease in government, industry sectors with annual declines were construction, down 2,100 jobs to 120,400 in June 2011; professional and business services, down 1,500 jobs to 192,800; and financial activities, down 300 for a level of 92,400.

Not seasonally adjusted statewide, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish data will be released on Wednesday, July 27. For more detailed information on June 2011 employment data for Louisiana, visit the LWC Web site at www.laworks.net and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select LOIS (Louisiana Occupational Information System) and Employment and Wage Data listed under Historical Data Analysis.



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