Louisiana adds 15,100 jobs over 12 months despite oil slump _lowres


Louisiana gained 15,100 jobs over the 12 months ending June 30, lifting the state’s total to 1,995,800, the highest June figures on record, despite the continued slump in the oil and gas industry.

“Our labor markets seem to be performing well with growth across most industry sectors,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “We would be doing even better were it not for job losses related to the low price of oil.”

Mining and logging, which includes oil and natural gas production, lost 6,300 jobs, or 11.6 percent of its total, over the year, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment in mining and logging has been falling every month since July 2014 and is now at its lowest level since May 2006, according to BLS figures that aren’t adjusted for seasonal factors.

Government employment was the only other sector where fewer people held jobs. The segment fell 5,600 jobs to 322,200.

The biggest job producers included education and health services, which added 8,300 jobs; and professional and business services, which added 4,200 jobs. The strongest growth rate, at 4 percent, was in information. Growth also came from the construction; leisure and hospitality; manufacturing; financial activities; trade, transportation and utilities; and other services categories.

The state’s jobless rate fell to 6.4 percent after three months at 6.6 percent. The unemployment rate — adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes — remained above June 2014’s 6.2 percent rate.

The number of people in the labor force fell by more than 4,000, reducing the unemployment rate. The report found 141,300 Louisianians unemployed in June. That’s down 4,400 from May, but 8,700 above June 2014.

Unemployment rates fell in 21 states in June, rose in 12, and were flat in 17. Louisiana tied for the nation’s sixth-highest jobless rate.

The national unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in June from 5.5 percent in May. It was down from 6.1 percent a year ago.

The unemployment rate is calculated by a survey asking how many people are looking for a job. A second survey asks employers how many people are on their payrolls, a measure many economists use as their top labor market indicator.

Advocate business writer Ted Griggs and Associated Press writer Jeff Amy contributed to this report.