BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s private sector employers added 20,800 jobs over the year in April, extending to 43 months the state’s streak of over-the-year employment gains, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Private sector job gains pushed total nonfarm employment to 1,960,500 in April, a net increase of 14,400 over the year and 4,700 more than the previous month, according to a BLS survey of more than 6,000 employers spread across industries and regions.
The state seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April was 4.5 percent, the best of the 17 states in the southern region and 10th best nationally, according to a separate survey of 750 households. Louisiana’s rate was unchanged from the prior two months, but 1.9 points lower than a year earlier. The national rate in April was 6.3 percent, down from 7.5 percent a year earlier.
“Both BLS surveys give us good signs that the number of people employed in the workforce are growing,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “We set another state record in April for the number of people employed in the civilian labor force, and our unemployment rate remains significantly lower than a year ago and better than the national average.”
In April, the number of people employed in Louisiana’s civilian labor force rose to 2,007,302, an increase of 40,020 over the year and 4,756 more than the all-time high set in March. In April, 94,882 people were unemployed and looking for work, 40,188 fewer than a year earlier.
Leisure and hospitality led all industry sectors in April, adding 5,900 jobs over the year. Professional and business services added 5,700 jobs, and education and health services rounded out the top three gainers with 4,800 jobs added over the year.
The biggest over-the-year decline was in the government sector, where Louisiana lost 6,400 federal, state and local government jobs. The only other industry sectors with declines were information, down 2,400; mining and logging, down 300; and manufacturing, down 200.
The LWC will release not seasonally adjusted data for the state’s eight metropolitan areas and parishes on May 23.
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 http://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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