La. unemployment rises to 7.5% in June
Despite posting the second-best year-over-year nonfarm employment percentage gain in the nation in June, Louisiana saw its unemployment rate rise to 7.5% on the month, up from 7.3% in June 2011, according to figures released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's also up from Louisiana's unemployment rate in May, which was 7.2%. Louisiana trailed only North Dakota in job growth between June 2011 and last month, with 52,700 more residents employed—an increase of 2.8%. But ultimately, the labor force grew faster than the rate at which people could find jobs, and the number of unemployed Louisianans in June also rose to 155,400, from 149,700 in May. A year ago, 146,800 people were jobless. Louisiana's jobless rate fell as low as 6.9% in January but has been slowly drifting upward since. The unemployment rate is calculated by a survey that asks how many people are looking for a job. A second survey each month asks employers how many people are on their payrolls, a measure that many economists look to as their top labor market indicator. The only state economic sectors that showed employment growth from May to June, according to seasonally adjusted figures, were construction, education and health services, and trade, transportation and utilities. The number of jobs in financial activities shrank the most sharply. The national unemployment rate held at 8.2% in June: the same as May's rate but below the 9.1% level of June 2011.
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