Louisiana job count edges up

Louisiana’s nonfarm employment grew by 25,700 jobs during the 12 months ending in February, an increase of about 1 percent, figures compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

The state had 1,944,000 nonfarm jobs compared to 1,918,300 in February 2012, according to the seasonally adjusted figures released Friday.

Despite the uptick, Louisiana’s unemployment rate edged up to 6 percent in February from 5.9 percent in January.

February’s unemployment rate was lower than the 6.9 percent rate a year ago and lower than the national rate of 7.7 percent.

The preliminary figures also show a continuing increase in the number of people comprising the state labor force, a factor in the uptick in the unemployment rate over the month despite the increase in payrolls.

Seasonally adjusted figures in the report showed Louisiana with a civilian nonfarm labor force of 1.94 million for February, up by roughly 10,000 from January.

The number of unemployed Louisiana workers was put at 126,700 for February, compared to 124,300 the month before and 143,500 in February of last year.

Sectors that showed improvement over the month, according to seasonally adjusted figures, included construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services.

Declines were measured in financial activities; education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and government.