Louisiana adds 9,700 jobs over 12 months through April _lowres


Louisiana gained 9,700 nonfarm jobs over the 12 months ended April 30 for a total of 1,986,500.

Two large loss trends continued, however, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Over the past year, as the price of oil tumbled from more than $100 per barrel to less than $50 before rebounding to around $58 as of Wednesday, Louisiana lost 5,100 mining and logging jobs. Mining and logging, which still employed 48,300 at the end of April, is the sector that includes oil and gas workers.

Louisiana also lost 5,300 state, local and federal government jobs over the 12-month period, finishing at 327,400.

None of the BLS’s preliminary numbers were adjusted for seasonal employment factors.

Louisiana’s large losses, however, were more than covered by a couple of big gains.

The number of state residents employed in education and health services jumped by 5,600 and finished at 304,300.

Those employed in trade, transportation and utilities increased by 5,300 and totaled 390,500.

Other year-over-year gains were recorded for construction, up 1 percent; manufacturing, up 1.9 percent; information, up 1.5 percent; financial activities, up 3.1 percent; and leisure and hospitality, up 1.4 percent.

Additional job losses were recorded for professional and business services, down 0.06 percent, and other services, down 0.01 percent.

Seasonally unadjusted unemployment numbers from the BLS showed Louisiana had the highest jobless rate — 6.3 percent — among the five Gulf Coast states at the end of April. That was 1.2 percentage points higher than the 5.1 percent unemployment rate recorded for April 2014.

The other four jobless rates were Alabama, 5.3 percent; Florida, 5.2 percent; Mississippi, 5.7 percent; and Texas, 4 percent.

Nebraska had the nation’s lowest unadjusted jobless rate last month — 2.5 percent.

The highest unadjusted unemployment rate was estimated for West Virginia at 7.2 percent.

Officials of the Louisiana Workforce Commission have stated for the past nine months the state’s unemployment rate has increased because more Louisiana residents are re-entering the labor market faster than jobs are coming online. Those officials also said some of those unemployed people are new residents drawn to the state to seek jobs created by industrial and commercial growth.