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Date:June 18, 2010
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Louisiana Gains Private Sector Employment in May

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today that private sector jobs grew by 4,600 jobs from April to May.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched slightly upward from 6.7 to 6.9 percent in May. The May rate was the 10th lowest in the nation and the second lowest in the Southern region. The Southern region rate for May was 9.4 percent. The May 2010 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the United States was 9.7 percent, down from the April rate of 9.9 percent.

May’s payroll report is based on results from business surveys taken in the second week of May and does not cover independent fishermen or any other self-employed occupations that may have been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The disaster began April 20 with the initial explosion at the oil rig site, with the first closures of select Louisiana fishing areas and oyster harvesting beds occurring April 30 and the first sightings of tar balls along the state coast on May 12.

“We are closely monitoring developments with the oil spill and the moratorium on deepwater drilling,” said Curt Eysink, LWC executive director. “This disaster is likely to have far-reaching impacts on employment for many people and industries in our state.”

In total, nonfarm payrolls grew by 11,100 jobs to 1,899,900 from April to May. In addition to private sector growth, the government industry grew by 6,500 jobs over the month, primarily due to the temporary hiring by the Census Bureau.

The nonfarm survey of employers showed eight of 11 industry sectors recorded job increases over the month. In addition to government, which had the largest job gain over the month for a total of 374,200 jobs, increases were reported in construction, 124,100, up 2,400 jobs; trade, transportation, and utilities, 367,600, up 2,300; professional and business services and mining and logging, each up 1,000 jobs to 193,200 and 51,500, respectively; financial activities, 89,300, up 400; other services, 69,400, up 300 jobs; and information 24,500, up 200. Sectors with declines for the month were education and health services, down 1,300 jobs to 273,200 in conjunction with the end of the school year; leisure and hospitality, 196,600, down 1,100 jobs; and manufacturing, 136,300, down 600 jobs.

Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics uses a separate sample survey of households to develop estimates about the civilian labor force. The sample is drawn mostly from the New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport metropolitan statistical areas; the coastal parishes that are affected the most by the spill so far are minimally represented.

That survey showed Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - for May 2010 included 2,096,005 people, a gain of 4,546 from April. The number of people employed increased over the month by 925 to 1,952,422. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in May 2010 was 143,583, an increase of 3,621 from April.

Note: This revision date does not reflect the revision date of the press release shown. Press Release postings are updated as needed and should be considered accurate as shown.