Louisiana's unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in August from 7.2 percent in July, making it one of 27 states that recorded an increase last month, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.
The agency said there were 8,630 more people listed as unemployed, while the civilian labor force rose by 4,500, a product of more people on an active job hunt. At the same time, the number of employed fell by 4,165, the Louisiana Workforce Commission said.
Over the past year, the labor force has grown by 31,606, with an employment increase of 23,721 and 7,885 unemployed, the commission said.
"These numbers reflect overall growth in the labor force and the number of people working continues to grow more than the number who are unemployed and looking for work," said Curt Eysink, the commission's executive director.
Eysink said Louisiana's civilian labor force is at a record high, except for the three months following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when thousands of relief workers came into the state.
The largest employment gain in August occurred in the government sector, which was up 1,400 jobs as hiring began for the school year. The much-watched mining and logging sector, which is going through the deepwater petroleum drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, gained 400 jobs last month, the commission said.
Professional-business services gained 1,000 jobs, construction and information each added 400 and manufacturing added 200.
Trade, transportation and utilities lost 1,800 jobs, leisure-hospitality dropped 1,400 jobs and education-health services fell by 1,200 .
Louisiana's unemployment rate in August 2009 was 7.3 percent.
The national unemployment rate for August was unchanged from July at 9.6 percent. That rate was 9.7 percent in August 2009.