BATON ROUGE – Louisiana extended its trend of private sector job gains in February, marking the 21st consecutive month the state’s private sector added jobs, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today.
Louisiana’s private sector added 3,200 jobs over the month of February, according to preliminary, seasonally adjusted nonfarm job figures developed by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Louisiana added 37,900 private sector jobs during the previous year, a growth rate of 2.4 percent.
Louisiana’s total seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for February rose to 1,947,200, an increase of 4,000 jobs over the month and 41,100 jobs over the year, according to BLS.
The BLS nonfarm estimates are produced using methods implemented last year that allow less state input into results than before. The use of this methodology may result in an increase in variability from one month to the next, according to BLS.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.0 percent in February, an increase of 0.1 percent from January but lower than the year-ago rate of 7.6 percent. The number of unemployed people rose by 2,497 in February, to 144,366 over the month. Meanwhile, the civilian labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — grew by 2,535 to 2,060,434 in February.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was tied with Delaware for both the 18th lowest in the nation and the fourth lowest in the South Region. The rate for the South Region was 8.0 percent. The national unemployment rate for February 2012 was unchanged over the month at 8.3 percent.
“The story in these numbers is that our labor force and the number of jobs in Louisiana continue to grow, and that growth is driven by the private sector,” said Curt Eysink, LWC executive director.
All but two industry sectors saw year-over-year growth in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs:
•Mining and logging: 4,300
•Trade, transportation and utilities: 7,600
•Financial activities: 2,400
•Professional and business services: 5,300
•Education and health services: 13,500
•Leisure and hospitality: 4,000
Meanwhile, two industry sectors saw declines:
•Other services (repair and maintenance, auto repair, personal and laundry services): -1,300
Louisiana’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate, used to compare the state and metropolitan areas, went down from 7.5 percent in January to 7.1 percent in February. The national unadjusted rate was 8.7 percent.
The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for all eight metropolitan statistical areas in Louisiana improved over the month, and all but one — Alexandria — also posted over-the-year improvements. The February unemployment rates for the eight metropolitan statistical areas are:
Alexandria: 7.2 percent, down 0.4 percent over the month and flat over the year.
Baton Rouge: 7.1 percent, down 0.4 percent over the month and 0.4 percent over the year.
Houma: 5.0 percent, down 0.3 percent over the month and down 0.7 percent over the year.
Lafayette: 5.2 percent, down 0.3 percent over the month and down 0.8 percent over the year.
Lake Charles: 6.5 percent, down 0.6 percent over the month and down 0.5 percent over the year.
Monroe: 7.7 percent, down 0.4 percent over the month and down 0.3 percent over the year.
New Orleans: 7.0 percent, down 0.4 percent over the month and down 0.3 percent over the year.
Shreveport: 6.7 percent, down 0.3 percent over the month and down 0.1 percent over the year.
For more detailed information on February 2012 employment data for Louisiana, visit our website at www.laworks.net and select Labor Market Information. Then select Monthly Employment Bulletin – Workforce At A Glance or Monthly Employment Statistics Press Release for the latest monthly nonfarm and labor force data.
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