Unemployment is up across the country as it is across the Ark-La-Tex with Louisiana seeing the biggest increase among the three states.

The May unemployment figures for Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana all show that there was a large increase of residents returning to the labor force looking for jobs, with a moderate to insignificant increase in employment.

In Louisiana, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in May was 6.8%.  That's a significant increase from April's unemployment rate of 6.4% and March's 6.2%.  Louisiana ended 2012 at 5.6%.

The big increase this month was from the number of residents who reentered the workforce and a slight decrease in the number of jobs in the state.  About 7,600 residents were added to the state's labor force in May, according to seasonally-adjusted data from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That, plus 800 few jobs in the state means there were 8,400 more unemployed Louisianans in May.

Louisiana's neighbors saw more moderate increases in unemployment as both Texas and Arkansas saw increases in their labor forces.  However, unlike Louisiana, both states also had an increase in jobs.

Texas' unemployment rate rose from 6.4% in April to 6.5% in May.  About 45,600 Texans joined the state's workforce and 27,300 jobs were added to the state's economy in May.  That means 18,300 more Texans were unemployed in May.

Arkansas' unemployment rate also rose one-tenth of a percent, from 7.2% in April to 7.3% in May.  About 2,400 more Arkansans joined the workforce and an additional 600 jobs were created in the state.  Those calculations would mean about 1,800 more Arkansans were unemployed in May.

Size of work forces in each of the Ark-La-Tex states in May (seasonally-adjusted, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics):

  • Arkansas: 1,333,300
  • Louisiana: 2,099,100
  • Texas: 12,798,900

Some fun numbers... if the same percentage of jobs created in Texas were created Louisiana, relative to the size of the state's work force, Louisiana would have seen an additional 4,477 jobs (as stated above, Louisiana lost 800 jobs in May).