Seasonally adjusted figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for June are welcome news for state officials who say the upward tilt in nonfarm employment indicates Louisiana’s battered economy is rebounding.
The figures, released today in a report from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, show Louisiana added 20,700 nonfarm jobs since June 2016, and 4,400 jobs since May of this year—the state’s largest month-over-month gain.
Total private sector jobs also rose by 22,300 during the same one-year period. Meanwhile, the adjusted figures also show Louisiana’s unemployment rate has dipped to 5.5%, a three-year low.
Most of the job gains are in construction, which has added some 15,600 jobs over the course of a year and 4,000 jobs over the month. Low oil prices have dragged down the state’s economy, causing a recession and exacerbating budgetary issues. But while the new figures show the mining and logging sector—which includes the oil and gas industry—down 2,100 jobs for the year, it did gained 800 jobs for the month.
Both Gov. John Bel Edwards and Ava Dejoie, LWC executive director, say Louisiana is making progress, but it’s not where it needs to be.
“The more we can do as a state to promote the skilled workforce we have here in Louisiana, the better off Louisiana families will be, and that is my priority at the end of the day,” Edwards says in a statement. “No one works harder than the people of Louisiana and those who have been struggling since the oil and gas downtown will not be forgotten.”
Seasonally adjusted data for Baton Rouge shows the Capital City lost 300 in May, but is still up 2,500 jobs for the year.
The LWC says it will issue a report on the nonseasonally adjusted figures for June next Friday.