La. gains 23,400 jobs over 12 months through July

Total nonfarm employment in Louisiana grew by 23,400, or 1.2 percent, to 1,942,300 jobs in the 12 months that ended in July, according to seasonally adjusted data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state saw its 35th consecutive month of jobs growth in the private sector, but a loss of government jobs.

Louisiana’s private sector grew by 29,600 jobs, or 1.9 percent, during the 12-month period.

The state’s government jobs sector shrunk by 6,200 jobs, the largest drop of any segment.

Among private-sector jobs, construction showed the largest increase, at 9,100, while transportation and utilities added 9,000 jobs.

“The July numbers show what we have come to expect over the last three years — solid private-sector growth, smaller government and growth across most industry sectors,” Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink said. “These are all good for our economy.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimates are based on a survey of 6,000 employers throughout the state and across industry sectors.

Meanwhile, Louisiana’s July jobless rate was 7 percent, unchanged from a month earlier but up 0.4 percentage point from a year ago.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 7.4 percent, down 0.9 percentage point over the year.

The U.S. Labor Department said Monday that unemployment rates were unchanged in 14 states and fell in eight — the fewest to show a decline since January.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the unemployment rate and civilian labor force using a separate survey of about 750 households. The workforce is defined as the number of people working plus those looking for work.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force numbered 2,093,162 in July, up 11,493 over the year.