BATON ROUGE – Louisiana set all-time employment records in July in the areas of construction, professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality, according to seasonally adjusted employment data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Private sector employers added 38,300 jobs over the year, setting a new record for total private employment and making July the 46th consecutive month private employers added jobs over the year. Louisiana’s total nonfarm employment reached 1,981,300 in July, also a record, according to seasonally adjusted data from a BLS survey of 6,000 employers across industries and the state.
Employers in leisure and hospitality set the pace, adding 8,800 jobs over the year. Trade, transportation, and utilities added 8,400 jobs, construction employers added 7,900 jobs, education and health services also added 7,900 jobs, and professional and business services added 7,300 jobs.
“These gains show that people at every skill level are finding work in Louisiana,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “This growth is diversified, representing a broad array of opportunities that anyone can participate in if they choose to.”
While the private sector grew, government jobs continued their long and steady decline. The government sector lost 6,500 jobs over the year, including a decline of 4,000 state jobs, shrinking state employment to its lowest point since at least 1990 when that BLS data series began. Other sectors with declines were information, which dropped 2,200 jobs, and mining and logging, down 1,300 jobs.
Louisiana’s civilian labor force swelled to an all-time high in July of 2,114,051. In July there were 32,753 more people employed than in July 2013, while the number of unemployed individuals was down 19,619 from a year earlier, according to a separate BLS survey of 750 Louisiana households.
The state’s unemployment rate in July was 5.4 percent, a point lower than a year earlier but 0.4 percent higher than in June. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July was 6.2 percent, 1.1 points lower than a year earlier but 0.1 percent higher than in June. Louisiana tied for the 17th lowest rate in the nation. Louisiana tied for the third lowest rate among the 17 states of the southern region where the average rate in July was 6.1 percent.
The number of new claims for unemployment benefits declined in July, suggesting the unemployment rate edged up because of more people had entered the labor force rather than because of an increase in unemployment.
“The growth in our labor force is a healthy signal that individuals have confidence in their ability to find work in Louisiana. The consistent growth in jobs is a good indicator that their confidence is well-founded,” Eysink said.
“Our employment forecasts also show employers plan to add many thousands of jobs in the coming months and years,” Eysink said. “We’ve set and broken multiple employment records for three consecutive months which tells us the expected increase in hiring has begun.”
The LWC will release not seasonally adjusted data for the state’s eight metropolitan areas and parishes on Aug. 22.
Job seekers can explore careers, apply for the highest rated jobs and connect with local training providers on the LWC’s free career tool, Louisiana Star Jobs, at www.laworks.net/Stars. A mobile version 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.
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.
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