BATON ROUGE — Louisiana added 21,100 private sector jobs over the year while the state’s civilian labor force remained near its highest level since 2005, according to April data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was 1,943,700 in April, an increase of 16,000 jobs over the year. Louisiana’s private sector added 21,100 jobs over the year, more than offsetting the loss of 5,100 local, state and federal government jobs over the year. The state’s private employers have added jobs over the year for 32 consecutive months.
Among sectors with the largest gains were construction with 10,200 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities with 5,700 jobs.
Nonfarm employment is estimated from a BLS survey of employers. A separate BLS survey of households is used to estimate the civilian labor force. The household survey shows Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force—the total number working or looking for work—was 2,091,501 in April, an increase of 6,006 over the year. The April total is just 18,500 shy of the highest level since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The share of the labor force that was employed in April was 1,956,570, an increase of 12,932 over the year. The number of unemployed was 134,931, a decrease of 6,926 over the year.
“The numbers show we’re adding jobs and that we have people willing to do the work,” LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said.
The labor force changes from March to April bucked the over-the-year trend of increasing employment and decreasing unemployment. As a result, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.3 percent in April to 6.5 percent. The April rate was down 0.3 percent from April 2012. The National unemployment rate in April was 7.5 percent, down from 7.6 percent and the Southern rate was 7.1 percent. Louisiana was tied for the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the region.
The method the BLS uses to estimate the results of its monthly surveys allows for unwarranted variability from one month to the next, particularly for areas that are smaller than the state, such as metropolitan statistical areas, and for industry sectors or subsectors.
Not seasonally adjusted estimates for MSAs and parishes will be released on Thursday, May 23. For more detailed information on the April 2013 employment data for Louisiana, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at http://www.laworks.net and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select LOIS (Louisiana Occupational Information System) and select Employment and Wage Data listed under Historical Data Analysis.
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