Editorial: La. job growth booms, state’s numbers show

Robust growth in Louisiana’s payrolls may confirm that our state is doing many of the right things to develop our economy.

The state reported recently that payrolls grew by .09 percent in November, the best percentage increase in jobs in the country.

That meant an additional 13,000 jobs for people in our state.

Employment grew to 1.96 million in the state, the most since before 2005, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Unemployment dropped

by 17,809 from the previous month, and by 25,516 the previous November.

All that means that the brighter numbers are something more than a boost from seasonal jobs. Overall, the jobs picture was

brighter across the country in November, but nowhere was it as encouraging as it was in Louisiana.

“Our education system, workforce

development system and overall business climate are all much improved,

positioning us for

more growth in the future. Louisiana has an ever-increasing number

of opportunities for people to get great jobs,” Curt Eysink,

executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, said in

an article published in The Times-Picayune.

Year-over-year numbers show the state has made some leaps forward. A state-by-state comparison also bears bright news.

For example, neighboring Texas’ unemployment rate was 6.2 percent; Arkansas’, 7 percent, Mississippi’s, 8.5 percent. Louisiana’s

percentage of job growth was twice that of Texas, four times that of Arkansas and almost twice that of Mississippi’s.

Louisiana’s unemployment slipped to 5.8 percent, more than a full percentage point better than 2011 and almost two points

better than the national average of 7.7.

The Times-Picayune reported that employment improved in every sector in November: trade, transportation, education and health,

hospitality, financial activity and more. Government was the only sector to lose jobs, about 100, the newspaper reported.

Still, there are almost 120,000 unemployed people in Louisiana, which presents a grim situation for individuals who are still

steadfastly seeking work. Fortunately for areas like ours, prospects appear bright for people who are willing to train for

good jobs and to be prepared for yet more jobs that may head our way.

Eysink — and the numbers — are probably right: Louisiana is a land of opportunity.

• • •

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney,

Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.