Oil slump hits Louisiana workers, manufacturers _lowres


Louisiana’s nonfarm employment dropped by 15,500 jobs over the 12 months ending March 31, with losses in seven of the 11 economic sectors.

Louisiana had 1,973,600 nonfarm jobs, down 0.8 percent from a year ago, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figures were not adjusted for seasonal changes.

Mining and logging, which includes the oil and gas industry, was hit hardest, with 10,700 fewer jobs in March than a year ago. The manufacturing sector lost 7,000 jobs, and professional and business services, 5,400 jobs.

However, education and health services gained 7,000 jobs, and construction added 6,000 jobs.

In a separate bureau report, Louisiana’s unemployment rate — people looking for work but unable to find it — declined to 6.1 percent in March from 6.4 percent a year ago. The national jobless rate was 5.1 percent, down from 5.6 percent a year ago.