Preliminary estimates show nonfarm payrolls grew from 1,161,300 in January to 1,161,900 in February. This is an increase of over 12,000 from this period one year ago, but down about 700 jobs from two months ago.
The unemployment rate saw a slight increase from 4.7 to 4.8 percent. It is down from 4.9 percent a year ago.
Manufacturing, trade, transportation, and utilities, leisure and hospitality, and government all saw increases in number of jobs over the past month. Construction, professional and business services, and education and health services all posted decreases in number of jobs over the same time period.
Government has now grown by 1,100 jobs year-over-year. Yet, the most recent Census estimates show population in the state was down 3,100 between 2017 and 2018 meaning the state now has more employees to serve less people.
Among neighboring states, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee also had growths in government employment ranging from 200-500 new employees. But they each also had increases in population over the prior year. Louisiana, which loss population last year as well, saw a decrease of 100 jobs in the government sector last month.
Louisiana is also the only neighboring state to have a loss of jobs from December, with a net loss of about 2,000 jobs.