BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in December, the best over the month improvement in the nation and the fourth straight month the state rate improved, according to seasonally adjusted data reported today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The unemployment rate in December improved by 0.6 percentage points over the month, the biggest drop since February 2006, according a BLS survey of 750 households. The national rate in December was 6.7 percent, and the South region average rate was 6.4 percent.
The number of people unemployed in December dropped to 119,237 which is 11,845 fewer than the previous month. The number of employed climbed to 1,971,237, up 14,314 over the month.
Louisiana’s civilian labor force—the number of people employed and unemployed—grew to 2,090,474 in December, an increase of 2,469 over the month and 1,735 over the year.
“Louisiana’s unemployment rate in December improved because more people found work,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink. “Nationally, the unemployment rate went down because more people dropped out of the workforce completely. The numbers clearly show Louisiana is outperforming the national economy.”
For the 40th consecutive month in December, Louisiana’s private sector employed more people than a year earlier, according to a separate survey of more than 6,000 companies. Private sector employers added 24,200 jobs in the 12 months that ended in December, which helped boost total nonfarm employment to 1,964,000.
Trade, transportation and utilities added 10,000 jobs over the year, outpacing growth in all other industry sectors. Leisure and hospitality added 7,600 jobs, followed by manufacturing which added 3,600 jobs over the year.
Federal, state and local government lost 5,600 jobs over the year, followed by financial activities which lost 800 jobs.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission will release not seasonally adjusted data for the state’s eight metropolitan areas and parishes on Jan. 30.
Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at www.laworks.net and create a HiRE account which will provide access to 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 www.laworks.net/stars.
A mobile version of Louisiana Star Jobs is now available at m.laworks.net.
To view the BLS nonfarm estimates for the state, click here: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=la.