Date:March 17, 2014
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Record number of people employed in Louisiana in January
Unemployment rate improves to 4.9 percent, best in the South

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana set a record in January with 1,990,531 people employed, which helped lower the unemployment rate to 4.9 percent, according to seasonally adjusted data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of people employed in January was 25,787 higher than January 2013. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed was 102,476; 29,310 fewer than a year earlier, according to a BLS survey of 750 households.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was the lowest since September 2008 and lowest in the 17-state southern region, where the average rate was 6.2 percent. The national unemployment rate in January was 6.6 percent.

“2014 is picking up right where 2013 left off,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “Our labor markets are strong and we expect employment will continue to increase as billions of dollars of new projects ramp up during the next three or four years.”

Louisiana’s civilian labor force—the total number of employed and unemployed—was 2,093,007 in January, 3,523 fewer than a year earlier.

According to a separate survey of 6,000 employers across industries and regions, Louisiana’s private employers added 25,300 jobs from January 2013 to January 2014. Newly benchmarked BLS data released today shows over-the-year private sector employment has improved every month since October 2010.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was 1,956,300 in January. Leisure and hospitality led all employment sectors with an increase of 10,000 jobs over the year. Other sectors with the biggest increases were trade, transportation, and utilities with 5,300; education and health services with 4,200; and manufacturing with 2,700.

Government was by far the sector with the biggest decline over the year, with 7,200 fewer federal, state and local jobs than a year earlier. The only other sectors that declined were information, which lost 2,500 jobs; and mining and logging, with 700.

The BLS today also released not seasonally adjusted data about the civilian labor force and total nonfarm employment.

The statewide not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 5.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent a year earlier.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in January was 2,060,734, a decline of 10,632 over the year. The number of people employed was 1,955,551, an increase of 35,391, and the number of unemployed was 105,183, down 46,023 over the year.

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved over the year in every parish, as well as in all eight metro areas as follows:

Alexandria: 5.2 percent, down from 7.5 percent in January 2013;

Baton Rouge: 4.8 percent, down from 7.1 percent;

Houma-Thibodaux: 3.5 percent, down from 5.1 percent;

Lafayette: 3.9 percent, down from 5.5 percent;

Lake Charles: 4.6 percent, down from 6.7 percent;

Monroe: 5.5 percent, down from 7.8 percent;

New Orleans: 5.1 percent, down from 7.2 percent;

Shreveport: 5.6 percent, down from 7.8 percent.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was 1,942,200 in January, an increase of 25,200 from a year ago and a decline of 32,700 from December 2013. Total private sector employment was 1,608,000, an increase of 31,500 over the year and a decrease of 23,500 from the prior month.

Not seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas, and for comparing them to the state. Seasonally adjusted data, on the other hand, are useful for comparisons among states and the nation.

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

A mobile version of Louisiana Star Jobs is also available at

To view all available employment data, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select Monthly Employment Bulletin – Workforce At A Glance or Monthly Employment Statistics Press Release for the latest monthly nonfarm and labor force data.

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

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