“Our growing employment reinforces nearly two years of consistently good news about Louisiana’s labor markets.” Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission
Louisiana continued to show job growth in May, as the state added 43,700 jobs in the past year to reach 1,944,700, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported Friday.
“Our growing employment reinforces nearly two years of consistently good news about Louisiana’s labor markets,” Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, said in a statement.
The news comes after an acknowledgement by the workforce commission and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics that some of the jobs data in past months has been flawed. Employment data for January to April “should be used with caution,” the BLS reported in a statement. The robust job growth the state has been reporting every month will likely be lower than originally reported, the statement said. However, the changes will not reveal an overall reversal, officials said.
“The corrected data still shows the same pattern of jobs growth over the year and steady private-sector growth,” Eysink said.
Last year, BLS implemented a new method to estimate nonfarm employment that greatly reduces state input into the results. The effect has been greater variability from one month to the next, particularly for areas that are smaller than the state, such as metropolitan statistical areas, and for industry sectors or subsectors. Friday’s report did not break down employment by job sectors.
The civilian labor force in May — a measure of the number of people working plus the number looking for work — increased 19,990 in the past year to 2,076,936. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in May, up 0.1 percentage points over the month and down 0.2 percentage points over the year. The May rate for the South was 7.7 percent and for the nation, 8.2 percent. The national unemployment rate was unchanged from April and down 0.8 percentage points from a year earlier.
A separate weekly report from the workforce commission showed first-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana increased last week to 4,272 from the previous week’s 4,177 claims and compares to 4,445 initial claims for the same week a year ago.
The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 4,070 from the previous week’s total of 3,851.
Continued unemployment claims for the week ending June 9 totaled 33,841, an increase from 32,533 for the previous week. The four-week moving average for such claims increased to 32,573 from 32,035.
In the monthly jobs report from the BLS, 49 states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while only one state experienced an increase, the BLS reported.
In May 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 27 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 22 states and was unchanged in Maine.
The Associated Press
contributed to the report.