La.’s job force grows despite regional dips

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August 28, 2007
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August 30, 2007

(AP) Areas devastated by the 2005 hurricane season reported modest job losses last month, but the state has gained 63,200 non-farm jobs since July 2006, Louisiana’s Labor

Department said Friday.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the state’s number of non-farm jobs rose to 1,908,700 in July 2007 – down 6,800 over June 2007 but an increase of 63,200 since July of last year.

Over the year, slight job increases were reported in areas devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

The New Orleans region reported 503,600 non-farm jobs last month – 300 less than the previous month but 21,900 more than in July 2006. Goods-producing jobs increased by

2,600 over the year in New Orleans, while service-providing jobs increased by 19,300 over the same period.

The Lake Charles region reported 91,500 non-farm jobs last month – a decrease of 100 from June but gaining 1,900 over the year. The region has gained 1,300 goods-producing

jobs and 600 service-providing jobs since July 2006.

The state’s unemployment rate, on a seasonally adjusted basis, was 3.9 percent in July 2007, up from 3.8 percent in June 2007 and 3.3 percent a year ago. The national unemployment rate last month was 4.6 percent.

Over the past year, every employment sector in Louisiana gained jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis with the exception of the information sector, which had the same number of jobs as in July 2006.

The largest increases were in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector, which gained 2,900 over the past month and 11,200 since last July. The construction sector gained 2,200 jobs over the past month, while educational and health services lost 900 over the same period.

The state reported 11,038 new and renewed claims for unemployment compensation last month, up from 10,721 the previous month and down from 12,894 in July 2006. A total of 2,305 recipients exhausted their benefits last month, up from 1,789 in June 2007 and down from 3,113 in July 2006.

Among the state’s metropolitan areas:

Alexandria: On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, lost 600 non-farm jobs last month but gained 1,500 over the year. Service-producing jobs were down 600 last month but up 1,400 from July 2006.

Baton Rouge: Non-farm jobs increased 10,100 over the year, but fell 2,100 from June to July. Added 3,300 goods-producing jobs and 6,800 service-providing jobs over the year.

Lafayette: Gained 5,800 non-farm jobs over the year, including 600 since June. Service-providing jobs increased by 5,000 over the year, while goods-producing jobs went up by 800.

Monroe: Lost 300 non-farm jobs last month but gained 1,200 over the year. Gained 1,300 service-providing jobs since July 2006, while losing 100 goods-producing jobs.

Shreveport-Bossier City: Gained 5,200 non-farm jobs over the year, including 400 last month. Over the year, service-producing jobs increased by 4,500 while goods-producing jobs went up by 700.

Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux: Lost 400 non-farm jobs last month, but gained 4,100 over the year. Added 2,300 service-producing jobs and 1,800 goods-producing jobs since July 2006.