A couple thousand more workers were on the job in July across Louisiana than in June, but there are still 138,000 fewer nonfarm jobs than the same time last year.
Louisiana’s nonfarm employment is down by 138,200 jobs, or 7%, over the 12 months through July to 1,822,100 workers. Still that number is about 2,600 workers higher than in June, according to Louisiana Workforce Commission data that is not seasonally adjusted.
The leisure and hospitality sector continues to lead the job losses over the year, with 46,200 fewer jobs than a year ago. That’s a 19.5% drop to 189,700 workers on the job last month in that industry, which includes tourism. Over the past month, the industry, which also includes restaurant workers and hotel jobs, rebounded somewhat and added 1,100 jobs back.
The professional and business services sector lost 16,600 jobs since a year ago, a 7.7% decline to 198,000 jobs, which is 3,300 fewer than in June as the sector continues to bleed jobs.
There also were 4,200 fewer jobs in total federal, state and local government over the year, and 3,400 fewer month over month. The overall downturn was despite state government adding 5,800 workers between July 2019 and last month. Federal government added 700 workers but local government lost 10,700 jobs.
The vast majority of the state government workers added to the rolls were described as educational services, according to employment data provided by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
In July there were 192,200 local government employees across the state, compared to 88,300 state workers and 32,100 federal workers.
Mining and logging, which includes the oil and gas industry, lost 6,400 jobs over the year to 30,700 workers. Month over month, the industry grew by 400 jobs.
There were 123,400 construction jobs in the state in July, which is 14,400 fewer than a year ago and 700 less than in June.
Manufacturing, while down 8,400 jobs from 2019, regained 1,000 jobs between June and July for 129,500 workers.
Trade, transportation and utilities, which employs 360,400 workers, lost 16,100 jobs over the year but had regained 3,300 jobs since June.
The information sector lost 3,100 jobs to 18,600.
Financial services is down 1,000 jobs over the year, but added back 400 jobs since June for 91,200 total workers.
Education and health services lost 18,700 workers over the year, but grew by 1,200 since June for a total of 297,200.
Other services lost 3,100 jobs over the year but regained 2,600 jobs month over month for 70,800 jobs overall.
The fastest growing types of jobs between June and July across Louisiana included department stores, which added 500 workers; home health care services, 300; gambling businesses, 300; services to buildings and dwellings, 200; and nursing care facilities, 200 jobs.
Since July, the pace of new first-time unemployment claims has generally slowed across the state. A separate state report showed 13,170 individuals filed for unemployment as of Aug. 15, which was up from 11,131 the week before but on par with 13,402 initial claims filed two weeks ago.
The report showed continuing unemployment claims have dipped back toward levels not seen since April to 246,636 receiving benefit last week. The previous week, there were 299,974 active unemployment claims. After the coronavirus hit in March and most businesses were shut down to control its spread, jobless claims peaked at 344,389 on May 23.
The drop coincides with the expiration of $600 a week in federal assistance that unemployed workers had received on top of the maximum $247 in weekly state benefits paid out. Also, Louisiana reinstated work-search requirements for those receiving jobless benefits.
In addition to last week’s 245,636 continuing claims, there are an additional 132,416 individuals in Louisiana receiving pandemic unemployment assistance, which includes self-employed freelancers, contractor, gig workers and those eligible for federal government subsidies distributed by the state.
Among those who receiving unemployed last week are about 60,000 who worked in accommodation and food services; 29,700 in retail; 25,900 in health care and social assistance; and 24,200 in construction.
Louisiana’s nonfarm employment fell by 237,400 jobs, or 11.8%, over the 12 months through May.