Louisiana gains 8,100 nonfarm jobs over past 12 months _lowres


Louisiana gained 8,100 nonfarm jobs over the 12 months that ended May 31, moving the state’s total to 1,994,300.

Preliminary numbers Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also showed, however, that four of 11 job sectors lost workers. Those numbers were not adjusted for possible seasonal factors.

Government jobs decreased by 5,900 and ended the 12 months at 326,700.

Another 5,900 jobs disappeared from the mining and logging industries, the sector that includes oil and gas workers. Layoffs triggered by a yearlong slump in oil prices reduced that sector to 48,100 employees over that period.

The other sectors experiencing job losses were construction, which finished at 137,100, a decrease of 2,300 employees, and information jobs, which declined by 300 and totaled 27,500.

Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, was optimistic about the overall expansion of the state’s job statistics, though.

“These numbers show the growth trend Louisiana has been experiencing for the past few years is continuing,” Eysink said.

The biggest gain was 6,800 jobs in the education and health services sector, which had a year-end total of 305,900.

A big bump of 4,800 jobs was estimated to increase leisure and hospitality employment to 229,000.

Manufacturing jobs were up 3,100 and totaled 150,300.

There were an additional 4,700 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, a sector that grew to 391,600 by the end of May.

Those with careers in financial activities increased their ranks by 1,600 jobs and ended the 12 months with a total of 93,100.

The professional and business services sector added 800 jobs and finished at 212,200.

Other services boosted their payrolls by 700 employees and expanded their total to 72,800.

Louisiana’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was estimated at 6.6 percent — an uptick of 0.6 percentage point from the unadjusted rate of May 2014.

A separate report Friday showed that first-time claims for unemployment benefits in Louisiana for the week ending June 13 decreased from the previous week’s total.

The state labor department figures show the initial claims decreased to 2,888 from the previous week’s total of 3,368. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,691.

Health care and social assistance had the largest decrease in initial claims.

The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 3,180 from the previous week’s total of 3,149.

Continued unemployment claims for the week ending June 13 increased to 25,858 compared to 25,287 the previous week. The four-week moving average for such claims increased to 24,592 from the previous week’s average of 23,851.

BLS officials did not report a seasonally unadjusted national unemployment rate for May. Instead, they adjusted their estimate for seasonal factors and announced the nation’s unemployment rate at 5.5 percent. That was 0.8 percentage point lower than in May 2014.