Amidst constant concern about the next extension of unemployment benefits (due in September) come some numbers from theAmerican South. Specifically, there were job gains posted in Louisiana and Texas last month, but losses in both Arkansas and Oklahoma.
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, that state’s seasonally adjusted non-farm employment improved by 5,800 jobs in the period from May through June, with the first recorded over-the-year increase in jobs since December 2008.
In Texas, the total non-agricultural jobs increased by 14,000 in June for a total of 166,100 since the beginning of this year, making it the sixth month in a row that the Lone Star State has seen improvement, at least according to Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken. Sectors that added jobs in June include, manufacturing, construction, mining, and logging, as well as education, health services, and professional and business services.
The numbers out of Arkansas and Oklahoma are less encouraging, however. In the former, there was an 8.200 decline in the workforce, with most of the lost jobs coming in the public sector, though some jobs were added in educational and health services, manufacturing trade, transportation, and utilities.
In Oklahoma, on the other hand, the number of unemployed people (after seasonal adjustment) grew by 1,010, or about 0.8 percent of the state’s population. Despite this, Oklahoma’s 6.8 percent jobless rate is below the national average of 9.5%, and below the other states in it’s region, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.
The June seasonally adjusted unemployment rates are 7.0 in Louisiana, 7.5 in Arkansas, and 8.2 percent in Texas.