NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana added 47,400 non-farm jobs in 2011 as the state posted a 2.5 percent growth rate during a year when the national economy continued a slow recovery from the Great Recession, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.

The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 6.8 percent in December from 6.9 percent in November and 7.7 percent in December 2010.

But job growth slowed at the end of the year. Without seasonal adjustments, the number of non-farm jobs was unchanged from November to December.

The number of people employed and actively seeking work in Louisiana — the civilian labor force — fell by 800 over the month and 42,100 over the year. Discouraged job-hunters who quit actively seeking employment drop out of that count. The number of people listed officially as unemployed fell by 400 in December and dropped by 19,800 over 2011, the BLS said.

Almost all job categories — except for construction and government — grew in Louisiana in 2011.

Without seasonal adjustments, goods-producing jobs — including petroleum, construction and manufacturing — rose by 9,700 over the year, including a 7,000-job jump in manufacturing. Petroleum added 3,900 jobs, but construction shed 1,200 jobs.

The service-providing sector added 37,700 jobs, led by private education and health care with 18,400. Trade, transportation and utilities rose by 6,900 jobs, followed by leisure-hospitality with 6,000 jobs and financial activities with 4,900 jobs.

In a continuation of a national trend, government jobs at all levels in Louisiana fell by 800 over the year, the BLS said.

Last month, 37 states and the District of Columbia posted jobless rate decreases, three posted increases and 10 were unchanged. Over the year, 46 states saw unemployment rate decreases while the rate went up in four states and the District of Columbia.

Comparison of Louisiana’s unemployment rate with other Southern states:


December 2011: 6.8 percent

December 2010: 7.7 percent


December 2011: 7.8 percent

December 2010: 8.3 percent


December 2011: 10.2 percent

December 2010: 10.4 percent


December 2011: 7.7 percent

December 2010: 7.9 percent


December 2011: 8.1 percent

December 2010: 9.1 percent


December 2011: 9.9 percent

December 2010: 12 percent


December 2011: 9.7 percent

December 2010: 10.4 percent


December 2011: 8.7 percent

December 2010: 9.4 percent

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics