Louisiana gained 12,600 jobs in June compared with a year ago — almost entirely in the private sector, as government jobs continue their downward spiral, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported Friday.

The state’s nonfarm seasonally-adjusted employment totaled 1,906,500 jobs in June.

Were it not for the 15,200 government jobs lost in the past year, the June job numbers would have shown a whopping 27,800-job increase compared with June 2010, the workforce commission reported.

The June 2011 estimates are the fourth monthly set produced by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics 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,” LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said in a statement. “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 industry sectors showing the strongest jobs gains were education and health services at 280,800, up 9,700 jobs over the year. This sector includes the social assistance industry sectors, which showed strong gains, said Patty Lopez- Granier, a researcher at the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Leisure and hospitality gained 8,000 jobs to land at 201,300. Manufacturing was up 6,000 jobs to 144,000. Trade, transportation and utilities picked up 4,900 workers to employ 369,700 statewide. Information, at 29,200, was up 2,200 jobs since June 2010. Other services was up 500 to 66,600. And mining and logging, at 52,300, was 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 last month; professional and business services, down 1,500 jobs to 192,800; and financial activities, down 300 for a level of 92,400.

The loss of government jobs is not new. In May, the state reported losing nearly 17,000 government jobs compared to the year before. The labor department has not yet released the June statistics regarding the different types of government jobs to experience a loss. However, in May federal jobs made up the largest share of losses with a 20.3 percent decline, while the state and local sectors shrank 2.2 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

New Orleans lost the most government jobs in May, when that sector shrunk by 4,200 jobs. By comparison, Baton Rouge only lost 800 government jobs in May.

The state’s unemployment rate in June dropped to 7.8 percent compared to May’s revised 8.2 percent. The June 2010 unemployment rate was 7.0 percent.

The national jobless rate was little changed at 9.2 percent, but was 0.3 percentage points lower than a year earlier.

The state’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — in June was 2,045,363, compared to 2,095,547 in June 2010.

The state’s unemployment rate tied with Maine for being the 21st-lowest in the country and the fourth-lowest in the Southern region.

Thirty-nine states posted unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, eight states and the District of Columbia reported increases, and three states had no change, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.