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Unemployment rate 3.6%, second lowest on record

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(The Center Square) – Louisiana’s unemployment rate in June was the second-lowest in state history at 3.6%, though the figure lags behind most states in the region.

Data released last week by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted number of employed was at the highest level ever for June at 2,037,445, or about 20,020 more employed individuals than in June 2022.

The 27th consecutive month of over-the-year gains in employed individuals kept the unemployment rate unchanged from May at 3.6% in June, tied for the second-lowest rate in history. June’s 3.6% is a mere 0.1% higher than in June 2022, translating to an increase of 2,432 unemployed Louisianans. In total, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals in Louisiana was estimated at 75,403 in June, a decrease of 1,254 from May.

“I am ecstatic that we continue to break records with the seasonally adjusted number of employed being the highest in June and the second highest in series history,” said the Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates. “This is a testament that we continue to put Louisianans back to work. Currently, our HiRE website has over 12,000 job openings and we continuously host job fairs across the state to help job seekers.”

Cates, who was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards when the unemployment rate was 6% in 2016, recently announced she will resign her position effective Aug. 31.

While Louisiana’s unemployment rate is now at a near-record low, all states in the region with the exception of Texas’ 4.1% boast a lower rate.

The unemployment rate for June in neighboring Mississippi was 3.1%, while in Arkansas it was 2.6%. The rate was 3.3% in Tennessee, 2.7% in Oklahoma, and 2.2% in Alabama.

By sector, the largest Louisiana gains in seasonally adjusted jobs over the month included 1,000 gained in information, 700 in construction and 600 in private education and health services. Over the last year, private education and health services added 16,900 jobs, while construction jobs increased by 9,700 and government jobs increased 8,900.

All of Louisiana’s metropolitan statistical areas added jobs in June, with the exception of no change in Alexandria and 100 jobs lost in Shreveport. The New Orleans area posted the biggest increase in jobs from May at 1,000. The Baton Rouge area shows the strongest job growth over the last year with 18,999 jobs added from June 2022.

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