The state’s job soundtrack seems to be on repeat: government jobs, down. Private sector, up.
August ranked as the 11th consecutive month of nonfarm job growth in Louisiana, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
Seasonally adjusted results of a survey of Louisiana employers by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show the state’s total nonfarm employment was 1,912,100 jobs in August, an over-the-year job gain of 31,600 jobs. This includes a reduction in government jobs — including federal, state and local government and all public education systems — which offsets some of the private sector gains.
“Louisiana’s numbers all are trending positively and show that our economy is moving well in the right direction,” Louisiana Workforce Commissioner Executive Director Curt Eysink said in a statement.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent in August from the July rate of 7.6 percent, Louisiana’s lowest of the year and was the 13th-lowest in the nation, tied with Minnesota, and the third-lowest in the Southern region. The Southern region rate for August was 9.1 percent. The national rate was unchanged from July at 9.1 percent.
Louisiana was one of 12 states that recorded an unemployment rate decrease in August, while 26 states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment rate increases. Twelve states saw no change, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — for August 2011 was 2,032,058, a decrease of 87,579 from 2,119,637 a year ago.
For months, the state has been losing jobs in the government sectors. Federal jobs represent the largest share of that loss, dropping 9.7 percent between July 2010 and July 2011. State jobs fell 2.7 percent during the same period, and local government jobs dropped 1 percent, according to Louisiana Workforce Commission data. Overall, government employment in Louisiana was reduced 2.3 percent in the last year.
This is in contrast to private-sector job growth, which has increased some 40,000 jobs in the last year, said Patty Lopez-Granier, a researcher with the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
“The annual job gains are spread broadly across nearly every sector. That is another positive indicator for our economy,” Eysink said.