8,100 Nonfarm Jobs In Louisiana Added In Past Year; 4 Of 11 Sectors Still See Job Loss

8,100 nonfarm jobs in Louisiana were added in the past 12 months, with the year ending on May 31st. The new total of Louisiana nonfarm jobs nearly reached 2 million at 1,994,300.

Preliminary numbers that came out on Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that four of eleven job sectors lost workers. Those numbers were not adjusted for possible seasonal factors. One of the largest Louisiana job sectors that lost workers was the government. Government jobs decreased by 5,900 and ended the 12 months reign at 326,700.

Another 5,900 jobs disappeared from the mining and logging industries, the sector that includes gas and oil workers. Layoffs triggered by a yearlong slump in oil prices have reduced this job sector to 48,100 employees over the past 12 months.

The other sectors experiencing job losses were construction, which finished at 137,100, a decrease of 2,300 employees, and information jobs, which declined by 300 and totaled 27,500.

Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, was optimistic about the overall expansion of the state’s job statistics. “These numbers show the growth trend Louisiana has been experiencing for the past few years is continuing,” Eysink said.

The biggest Louisiana job sector that saw growth was in the education and health services sector, adding 6,800 jobs. At the end of the year, sectors jobs totaled 305,900. Leisure and hospitality employment added 4,800 jobs to total 229,000. Manufacturing now totals 150,300 by adding 3,100 jobs.

There were an additional 4,700 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, a sector that grew to 391,600 by the end of May. Those with careers in financial activities increased their ranks by 1,600 jobs and ended the 12 months with a total of 93,100. The professional and business services sector added 800 jobs and finished at 212,200. Other services boosted their payrolls by 700 employees and expanded their total to 72,800.

Louisiana’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was estimated at 6.6 percent — an uptick of 0.6 percentage point from the unadjusted rate of May 2014. A separate report Friday showed that first-time claims for unemployment benefits in Louisiana for the week ending June 13 decreased from the previous week’s total. The state labor department figures show the initial claims decreased to 2,888 from the previous week’s total of 3,368. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,691.

Health care and social assistance had the largest decrease in initial claims. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 3,180 from the previous week’s total of 3,149. Continued unemployment claims for the week ending June 13 increased to 25,858 compared to 25,287 the previous week. The four-week moving average for such claims increased to 24,592 from the previous week’s average of 23,851.

BLS officials did not report a seasonally unadjusted national unemployment rate for May. Instead, they adjusted their estimate for seasonal factors and announced the nation’s unemployment rate at 5.5 percent. That was 0.8 percentage point lower than in May 2014.