BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted March unemployment rate improved over the year in every metro area and in all 64 parishes, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today.
The state rate for March was 4.5 percent, 1.6 percentage points better than a year earlier but 0.3 percentage points higher than in February. The national rate in March was 6.8 percent.
“The numbers show the employment picture improved throughout our state in March,” said Curt Eysink, LWC executive director. “Industrial growth will continue to drive expansion of construction-related training and hiring, but many other sectors are prospering and adding jobs all over Louisiana.”
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics uses a survey of 750 households to estimate the civilian labor force and the unemployment rate.
The number of people employed in the civilian labor force rose 36,006 over the year to 1,986,883 in March, not seasonally adjusted data show. During the same period, the number of unemployed improved to 94,563, a decline of 31,253. The civilian labor force—the sum of people employed and those looking for work—was 2,081,446 in March, an increase of 4,753 over the year and 17,141 over the month.
Not seasonally adjusted unemployment in March improved over the year in all eight metro areas as follows:
Alexandria: 4.7 percent, down from 6.0 percent in March 2013;
Baton Rouge: 4.2 percent, down from 5.8 percent;
Houma: 3.1 percent, down from 4.1 percent;
Lafayette: 3.5 percent, down from 4.4 percent;
Lake Charles: 4.1 percent, down from 5.5 percent;
Monroe: 4.8 percent, down from 6.5 percent;
New Orleans: 4.5 percent, down from 6.0 percent;
Shreveport: 5.0 percent, down from 6.7 percent.
The BLS uses a separate survey of 6,000 employers statewide and across industries to calculate nonfarm employment. Not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment climbed to 1,958,900 in March, an increase of 14,400 over the year and 8,900 more than in February 2014. Private sector employers added 20,900 jobs during the 12 months that ended in March, and added 9,100 jobs from the previous month.
Leisure and hospitality added 8,600 jobs over the year, not seasonally adjusted data show, which led all industry sectors. Other strong over-the-year gainers were professional and business services, up 3,700, and education and health services, up 3,300.
Government had the biggest over-the-year decline, with 6,500 fewer federal, state and local government jobs. The only other sector to decline was information, which lost 3,300 jobs.
Among metro areas, New Orleans gained the most nonfarm jobs over the year with 8,500, followed by the Baton Rouge metro area with 8,000. Only two metro areas had over-the-year declines in not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment: Alexandria with 400 and Shreveport with 300.
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 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 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: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=la.
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