BATON ROUGE – The number of people employed in Louisiana’s civilian labor force set a record in March and exceeded 2 million for the first time ever, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In March, 2,002,512 Louisianians were employed in the civilian labor force, 35,110 more than a year earlier and 3,788 more than in February. There were 93,473 unemployed people in March, a decline of 41,188 over the year and 1,438 fewer than the previous month.
Louisiana’s March unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.5 percent, the best in the 17-state southern region and tied for seventh lowest in the nation. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March was 6.7 percent, unchanged from February.
“Louisiana has more people working than ever before in our history,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “That’s even more significant when you consider that many announced major projects, that will drive employment for years, have not yet begun construction.”
The BLS uses a survey of 750 households to estimate the civilian labor force and unemployment rate. The civilian labor force—the total number of employed and unemployed—was 2,095,985 in March, a decline of 6,078 over the year and an increase of 2,350 from February.
The BLS uses a separate survey of 6,000 employers statewide and across industries to calculate nonfarm employment and employment levels within industry sectors.
Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was 1,955,400 in March, an increase of 10,900 over the year. Private sector employers added 17,300 jobs over the year, the 42nd consecutive month of over-the-year gains.
Leisure and hospitality had the biggest job gain of all sectors, adding 8,400 jobs over the year, followed by construction with 3,600, and education and health services at 3,100.
The government sector—comprised of federal, state and local jobs—was down 6,400 over the year, to 336,000, its lowest point since July 1993. The only other employment sectors with over-the-year declines were information, down 3,300, and manufacturing, down 600.
The LWC will release not seasonally adjusted data for the state’s eight metropolitan areas and parishes on April 25.
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 use Louisiana Star Jobs, the LWC’s free career exploration and job search tool, at www.laworks.net/stars.
A mobile version of Louisiana Star Jobs is also available at m.laworks.net.
To view all available employment data, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at 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.
To view the BLS nonfarm estimates for the state, click here: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=la.
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