BR, N.O., Lafayette add jobs

The number of nonfarm jobs in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and statewide continued to increase in June, according to figures released Thursday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Despite job losses in three of its eight metro areas — Alexandria, Monroe and Shreveport-Bossier — Louisiana gained 25,800 jobs over the 12-month period that started in June 2012. The 1.3 percent increase put the statewide jobs total at just over 1.95 million, according to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In May, the state added 19,400 jobs, for 1 percent growth over the past 12 months.

At the same time, the unemployment rate statewide and in six of Louisiana’s eight metro areas increased slightly.

“The long-standing job growth trends are continuing in Louisiana, and our private sector and civilian labor force are both larger than they were a year ago,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, in anews release.

Eysink noted it’s common for the nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate to go up in the summer, because teachers and students are out of school.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force, which includes people who are working and also unemployed people who are looking for jobs, increased by 16,634 for the year, putting the labor force at 2.1 million.

Taking a look at the individual metro areas:

BATON ROUGE: The number of nonfarm jobs in metro Baton Rouge increased by 6,800 during the 12-month period. That 1.8 percent gain put the Capital Region at 380,800 jobs.

The city saw job gains in a number of sectors, most notably construction, which went to 44,900 jobs in June from 39,200 a year earlier, and professional and business services jobs, which increased to 46,400 from 44,700. The number of chemical and petrochemical projects that have been announced locally the past year or so has led to the increase in construction jobs.

NEW ORLEANS: The metro area added 4,100 jobs in the May report, bumping the Crescent City up to 532,000. That was an increase of 0.8 percent from a year ago.

The city saw gains in the number of private service-providing jobs, going to 386,900 from 382,400, while professional and business jobs went from 69,000 to 71,500 in June.

LAFAYETTE: Lafayette added 1,500 jobs, a gain of nearly 1 percent, to come in at 158,700 for the 12-month period. An increase in private service-providing jobs, which were up 2,300 for the 12-month period to 105,800, helped account for the difference.

OTHER METRO AREAS: Lake Charles added 3,100 jobs in the 12-month period ending in June to come in at 94,300. Houma-Thibodaux added 2,100 jobs to reach 96,800.

Shreveport-Bossier, which has been hard hit by the shutdown of the General Motors plant, layoffs at Libbey Glass and the relocation of A-10 tank-killing planes from Barksdale Air Force Base, lost 2,300 jobs from June 2012 to June, for total employment of 175,600. Alexandria had a 600-job decrease for total employment of 62,900. Monroe lost 200 jobs to come in at 76,900.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was 7 percent, up from May’s rate of 6.8 percent. Louisiana was still below the national unemployment average of 7.6 percent.

The state’s nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was 7.9 percent, the workforce commission reported. That’s up from 7 percent in May.

While most Louisiana metro areas saw their nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rates rise from May to June, Baton Rouge held steady at 7.8 percent. Lake Charles, which saw its rate drop from 7.1 percent to 7 percent, was the only other metro area not to increase.

Lafayette had a nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6 percent in June, far below the state average, but up from 5.7 percent in May. New Orleans had a 7.9 percent unemployment rate, right at the state average and up from 7.8 percent in May.