Date:June 21, 2013
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana’s private sector sets jobs record in May

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s private sector employers set a record in May for seasonally adjusted private sector employment, which reached 1,605,400, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Private sector employers added 28,000 jobs over the year and 6,100 over the month in May, marking the 33rd consecutive month of over-the-year job gains.

Job gains in the private sector helped push total nonfarm employment to 1,950,300 in May, 600 jobs shy of the all-time high set in July 2005. Federal, state and local government employment combined declined by 5,800 jobs over the year in May, with state government employment remaining steady at 101,100, its lowest level since August 1991.

Construction set the pace for job growth statewide with an over-the-year increase of 11,800 jobs, a 9.4 percent growth rate. Other notable over-the-year gains included trade, transportation, and utilities with 6,700 more jobs; leisure and hospitality with 4,600 more jobs; and education and health services up 4,500 jobs.

“Louisiana businesses are hiring, and those new jobs are more than enough to make up for any losses, particularly in the government sector,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “There are plenty of opportunities for people who are willing to work or pursue training to qualify for high-demand, well-paying jobs that are out there.”

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May was 6.8 percent, unchanged from a year ago and 0.4 percent higher than April. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in May, 0.6 percent lower than a year ago and 0.1 percent higher over last month’s rate. The Southern rate was 7.2 percent in May, up from 7.1 percent in April.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force—the total number of people employed plus those looking for work—in May was the fourth-highest on record at 2,099,121. That’s up 15,419 over the year and 7,594 over the month. May’s labor force was the fourth highest monthly mark, with the high of 2,110,028 set in September 2005.

The seasonally adjusted number of people employed in Louisiana in May was 1,955,786, an increase of 13,193 over the year, but a decrease of 861 over the month. The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed was 143,335 in May, an increase of 2,226 over the year, and an increase of 8,455 over the month.

Nonfarm employment numbers are based on a survey of employers which asks them how many jobs they have. The unemployment rate is calculated from a separate survey of households which asks whether the people in the household are working. The household survey has a much smaller sample.

“It’s difficult to square the estimates for the household survey with the fact that employers have clearly ramped up hiring in Louisiana,” Eysink said. “We and our partners in education and training already feel greater pressure to deliver more trained workers to support private sector growth. It’s encouraging that our labor force continues to grow because all those people are needed to keep up with demand.”

Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at and create a HiRE account which will provide access to thousands of qualified job seekers. Individuals looking for jobs in high-value careers should go to Louisiana Star Jobs, the LWC’s free job search tool, at

A mobile version of Louisiana Star Jobs is now available at

The BLS will release more detailed employment data, including not seasonally adjusted information for the state’s eight metropolitan areas, on June 27.

For more detailed information on the May 2013 employment data for Louisiana, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at 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.

To view the BLS nonfarm estimates for the state, click here:


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