State gains 56,500 jobs over year

June 25, 2007
Reported by Associated Press

The state labor department reports today that Louisiana gained 56,500 non-farm jobs over the past year, with increases in parts of the state where the labor market took a hit from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the state's number of non-farm jobs rose to one million-913-thousand-100 in May 2007, up from one million-856-thousand-600 in May 2006 and an increase of 2,700 over April 2007.

The New Orleans region reported 502,500 jobs last month, an increase of 24,000 over May 2006.  Goods-producing jobs were up 1,900, while service-providing jobs increased by 22,100 over the same period.  The reporting area includes parishes around the city, where population has grown since Katrina, which struck August 29th, 2005 and flooded about 80 percent of New Orleans.  In the city proper, the pre-storm population of about 455,000 stands at about 255,000.

The Lake Charles region, hit hard by Hurricane Rita about a month after Katrina struck, reported 92,500 non-farm jobs last month -- an increase of 2,200 over May 2006.

The state's unemployment rate, on a seasonally adjusted basis, was 4.8% in May 2007, compared with 4.3% in April 2007 and 3.8% in May 2006.  The U.S. unemployment rate in May 2007 was 4.5%.