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The Baton Rouge metro area lost 37,900 jobs  in June compared to a year ago. From May and June, the region added 4,800 employees back into the job market as many businesses slowly reopened, though that may stall with a new surge in coronavirus cases hampering a phased reopening of the economy.

The Baton Rouge-area unemployment rate is slightly lower than state and national averages, but the capital region still lost 37,900 jobs in June compared to last year.

Baton Rouge's unemployment rate was 9.6% in June, up from 5.1% last year but down slightly from 12.6% in May. The Louisiana jobless rate was 10.5% in June, up from 5.6% last year but down from 13.9% two months ago. The U.S. unemployment rate was 11.2%, up from 3.8% last year but down from 13% this May.

There's been some progress in the labor market since the coronavirus pandemic prompted a statewide stay-at-home order in mid-March, though a stall-out in the phased reopening of the economy could mean lower employment ahead as the state again tries to slow a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Between May and June, the region added 4,800 employees back into the job market as many businesses slowly reopened. The employment data is not seasonally adjusted and only captures data through mid-June, before bars were closed again recently as coronavirus cases surged. 

Statewide, 50,700 jobs were added between May and June, but nonfarm employment is still down 172,800 jobs compared to June 2019. There were 1.8 million workers employed in Louisiana last month. Those numbers don't fully reflect the number of workers receiving unemployment benefits, currently at about 313,000. 

Leisure and hospitality sector job losses have largely driven the economic recession in Louisiana. 

In Baton Rouge, leisure and hospitality lost 12,300 jobs over the year, down 29.9% to 28,800 workers in June, as restaurants grapple with capacity restrictions and travel and tourism remain crippled by the pandemic. 

Between May and June, the leisure and hospitality sector in Baton Rouge added 2,100 jobs.

Construction lost 7,100 jobs over the year, a decline of 14.6% to 41,500 workers, with big blows in heavy and civil engineering alongside specialty trade contractors.

There were also 5,400 fewer government jobs in the Baton Rouge area compared to last year for a total of 69,600. About 4,300 of the job losses were in local government and another 1,100 in state government.

Education and health services lost 3,700 jobs, down 6.8% over the year to 50,200 workers in June. Inside that total, hospitals were down 400 workers. 

Trade, transportation and utilities dropped by 3,200 jobs, or 4.5% to 67,200 workers, with retail and wholesale trade hit the hardest. 

Professional and business services lost 2,900 jobs over the year, down 5.9% to 46,200 workers. 

Manufacturing lost 1,200 jobs over the year, or a 4% drop to 28,700 workers.

Information lost 900 jobs, to 4,400; financial services, 100 workers to 18,800; other services, down 900; and mining and logging, which includes the oil and gas sector, 200 jobs to 900 workers. 

LAFAYETTE: The Acadiana region lost 12,800 jobs over the year, or a 6.2% drop to 192,100 jobs. Between May and June the region did add 8,000 jobs back to the market for some recovery. Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas, lost 2,900 jobs over the year, down 21.6%, the vast majority of which were for businesses in support services. Professional and business services lost 2,900 jobs over the year, down 13.3% to 18,800 workers. Manufacturing lost 2,100 jobs over the year, down 12.6%, to 14,500 workers. Education and health services lost 1,200 jobs; federal, state and local government, 1,000 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, 900 jobs; construction, 800 jobs; information, 200 jobs; financial services. 700 jobs; other services, 800 jobs. Leisure and hospitality added 700 jobs over the year for 22,600 workers. Unemployment in Lafayette was 9.2%, up from 5.4% in June 2019.

NEW ORLEANS: The Crescent City area lost 74,000 jobs, a 12.6% drop to 509,900 jobs over the past 12 months through June. Between May and June, the region did add 23,000 jobs back to the market. Leisure and hospitality as a sector lost the largest slice of jobs, down 31,000, or about 33.4%, compared to last year's 61,700 jobs. Professional and business services lost 10,200 jobs, down 13% to 66,400 workers. Trade, transportation and utilities lost 10,600 jobs; construction, 6,000 jobs; government, 4,900 jobs; education and health services, 3,800 jobs; other services, 3,400 jobs; manufacturing, 2,300 jobs; information, 800 jobs; mining and logging, 500 jobs; and financial services, 500 jobs. Unemployment in New Orleans was 12.9%, up from 5.2% in June 2019.

OTHER METROS: Lake Charles lost 15,900 jobs over the year to 100,300; Shreveport-Bossier City, 13,300 jobs to 168,000; Houma-Thibodaux, 6,600 jobs to 80,700; Monroe, 4,500 jobs to 73,600; Alexandria, 4,000 jobs to 58,300; and Hammond, 2,700 jobs to 42,700 jobs.


Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.