Jobs added but unemployment rate edges up in La.

Jobs added but unemployment rate edges up in La.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana's unemployment rate edged up in May to 6.8 percent from 6.4 percent in April, even as the state added 6,100 private sector jobs over the month — and 28,000 over the year.

Figures released Friday by state and federal labor officials showed non-farm employment in Louisiana for May totaling more than 1.95 million jobs.

The unemployment rate for May was unchanged from a year ago. It rose from April, despite the added jobs, because the total civilian labor force — those with jobs or seeking them — grew to almost 2.1 million. That's 7,594 more than in April, and 15,000 more than May 2012.

The number listed as unemployed in May was 143,335, an increase of 2,226 over the year and 8,455 over the month.

In its take on the numbers released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state's labor department, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, noted that the nonfarm employment figure for May was 600 short of a record high in July 2005.

Government sector jobs declined by 5,800 over the year. State government, at 101,100 jobs, was at its lowest since August 1991, the state said.

"Louisiana businesses are hiring, and those new jobs are more than enough to make up for any losses, particularly in the government sector," Cut Eysink, the commission's executive director, said in a news release.

Construction, manufacturing, trade-transportation-utilities, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, and the leisure and hospitality sector all saw gains in statistics listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nonfarm employment numbers are based on surveys of employers. The unemployment rate is calculated from a separate survey of households, the state said.

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