BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s private sector employers continued adding jobs and the civilian labor force grew larger—with the vast majority of the increase in the workforce employed in September—making for yet another record-setting month for the state, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in seasonally adjusted data released today.
Total seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment grew by 33,100 from a year ago to 1,987,900 jobs in September. Private sector employers added 38,900 jobs over the year, a growth rate of 2.4 percent that extended private employers’ four-year unbroken streak of over-the-year job gains. The data is from a BLS survey of more than 6,000 Louisiana employers across industries and the state.
“Thanks to consistent job growth that continues to set records, qualified workers have more job opportunities today than at any time in Louisiana’s history,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
The construction sector added 11,000 jobs over the year, the most of any sector. Leisure and hospitality was next, adding 9,500 jobs over the year, followed by professional and business services with 9,200 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities, which added 5,800 jobs.
The government sector had the biggest over-the-year decline, shedding 5,800 jobs. The decline included the loss of 4,100 state jobs and 1,500 local government jobs. The two largest private sector industry losses were the information sector and the mining and logging sector, which lost 1,500 jobs each.
The BLS uses a separate survey of 750 Louisiana households to estimate unemployment rates and the civilian labor force, or the number of people employed plus those looking for work.
The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force grew by 49,924 over the year, while 46,590 more individuals were employed in September. Similarly, the labor force grew by 17,510 since August, with 11,066 more people working. Louisiana’s labor force totaled 2,146,613 in September, a state record.
The seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 6.0 percent in September, the same as a year earlier. The national seasonally adjusted rate in September was 5.9 percent, 1.3 percentage points better than a year earlier. The southern regional average rate in September was 6.2 percent. Louisiana had the fourth lowest rate in the 17-state southern region.
Although the preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked up, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits actually declined slightly both over the year and from the previous month, LWC data show.
“The higher unemployment rate seems to be a result of people entering the workforce to look for jobs, primarily because we have jobs worth looking for,” Eysink said. “Nationally, the unemployment rate has dropped mainly because people are dropping out of the labor force.”
The LWC will release not seasonally adjusted data for the state’s metropolitan areas and parishes on Oct. 24.
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.
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.
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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