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Date:September 26, 2014
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Private employers set a record for not seasonally adjusted Louisiana employment in August

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s private sector employers have been adding jobs over the year since 2010, and in August they set yet another record for not seasonally adjusted total private employment, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today.

Private employers added 31,900 jobs over the year in Louisiana, pushing not seasonally adjusted private employment to a record 1,648,100. Gains were spread across industry sectors and most metro areas. Government lost 5,900 jobs over the year, including 3,800 from state government, 1,900 from local government and 200 from the federal government.

“The data on growth matches what we see happening in many industries across the state. We have more companies operating today, we have very large companies that have announced their intention to open up or expand in Louisiana, and there are countless small businesses whose collective growth is helping many more people in Louisiana improve their standards of living,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink.

Total nonfarm employment in August was 1,971,900, an increase over the year of 26,000 jobs, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of Louisiana employers across industries and the state.

The construction sector added the most jobs over the year with 9,200. Other sectors with strong over-the-year gains were leisure and hospitality, up 6,600; education and health services, up 6,300; and professional and business services which added 6,100 jobs over the year. Private industry sectors which lost jobs over the year were information, down 2,200; other services, down 1,400; and mining and logging, which was down 700.

The Baton Rouge metro area added the most nonfarm jobs over the year with 12,900, followed by New Orleans, 8,200, and Lake Charles with 3,600. Alexandria was the only metro area not to add nonfarm jobs over the year.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in August, according to a separate BLS survey of 750 households. The August rate was 0.2 percentage points better than a year earlier but 0.2 points higher than in July. The national rate in August was 6.3 percent, one point lower than a year ago.

The not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force—defined as the total number of people working plus those looking for work—was 2,162,357 in August, an increase of 52,731 from a year earlier. That was just 2,505 shy of the all-time high set in July. Typically the civilian labor force tends to go down at the end of the summer due to students returning to school.

The number of people employed in August jumped 52,697 over the year, while the number of people looking for work rose by only 34 over the year and increased by 4,816 from July.

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates improved or were unchanged in seven of the eight metro areas over the year in August as follows:

Alexandria: 6.9 percent, up from 6.8 percent in August 2013;

Baton Rouge: 6.1 percent, down from 6.3 percent;

Houma, 4.5 percent, unchanged;

Lafayette: 5.0 percent, unchanged;

Lake Charles: 5.8 percent, down from 6.2 percent;

Monroe: 6.9 percent, unchanged;

New Orleans: 6.5 percent, down from 6.6 percent;

Shreveport: 6.9 percent, down from 7.1 percent.

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 http://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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