The latest state job report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed some economic recovery, but mainly because of growth in government and education jobs. After adding only 4,300 jobs from May to June, 12,700 jobs were added from June to July. The civilian labor force remained essentially unchanged, so the unemployment rate dropped from 6.9 to 6.6 percent.

Over half of the jobs added in July were because of an increase in government employees and teachers going back to school rather than job creation in the private sector. The only significant private sector job growth was in leisure and hospitality, which added 3,500 jobs.

Even with jobs being added and the unemployment rate dropping, a broader look shows Louisiana still has a long way to go in its economic recovery. Foremost, Louisiana is still missing 121,900 jobs since March of 2020, which means that even if Louisiana had the same job growth it did in July, recovery is still over a year away. Also, Louisiana’s employment rate is higher than all of its neighboring states and more than a point higher than the national average which sits at 5.4 percent.

With the expanded unemployment benefits ending on July 31st, we have yet to see what impact it will have in the Pelican State. Hopefully, with the disincentive to work ended, Louisiana will continue to see job growth above 10,000 per month and more concentrated in the private sector.