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Louisiana jobs grow, unemployment falls

Louisiana added jobs in June, making it the state’s highest June jobs count on record, and the state’s unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent, according to seasonally adjusted data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A BLS survey of 7,000 employers shows that Louisiana added 5,000 nonfarm jobs over the month and 13,400 over the year, bringing the nonfarm employment total to 1,994,200. According to seasonally adjusted data, total government jobs comprised of federal, state and local government employment, remained unchanged over the month but show a loss of 6,100 jobs over the year for an estimate of 323,700 jobs. Private sector employment was estimated at 1,670,500, an increase of 5,000 jobs over the month and a gain of 19,500 jobs over the year, seasonally adjusted data show.

June is the 57th consecutive month of over-the-year increases in private employment.

“Our labor markets seem to be performing well with growth across most industry sectors,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “We would be doing even better were it not for job losses related to the low price of oil.”

Mining and logging, which includes the oil production subsector, lost 300 jobs over the month and 6,000 jobs over the year. Employment in mining and logging has been declining every month since October, with 5,400 jobs lost since October. According to seasonally adjusted data, the number of jobs in mining and logging, 47,700, is the lowest it has been since May 2006.

Over the month, professional and business services had the largest increase in June with 3,100 more jobs. Education and health services added 1,800 jobs, reaching a record high at a total of 307,600. In addition, other services added 1,700 jobs over the month, and construction added 1,400 new jobs last month, marking the highest June employment in history. Manufacturing has added jobs each month for 48 months, gaining 11,200 jobs since June 2011.

The largest job decline last month was in trade, transportation, and utilities with 2,800 fewer jobs. Leisure and hospitality lost 1,400 jobs.

A separate BLS survey of 750 households showed that the state’s civilian labor force, which includes the number of people employed plus those looking for work, declined over the month by 4,368 to a total of 2,210,599 as a result of a decrease in the number of people who were unemployed.

This is the highest June on record, and the third highest month on record, seasonally adjusted data show. The number of people employed this month is 2,069,250, a decrease of 43 people from last month, seasonally adjusted data show. With 4,325 fewer individuals looking for work, Louisiana’s unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 6.4 percent, according to seasonally adjusted data.

The national unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent while the 17-state Southern regional average rate in June was also 5.3 percent.

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