BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s private sector employers added 36,400 jobs over the year, helping to set a new all-time high in September for total nonfarm employment, according to not seasonally adjusted data released today.
Total nonfarm employment was 1,981,400 in September, a new not seasonally adjusted Louisiana record. Total private employment for the month was 1,648,100, tying the all-time high set a month earlier.
“September was yet another record-setting month for employment growth in Louisiana,” said Curt Eysink, LWC executive director. “That tells us employers are doing well and so are job seekers.”
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics measures total employment using a monthly survey of 6,000 employers across industries and the state. The September survey found the construction sector added the most jobs over the year with 10,000, the not seasonally adjusted data show. Among other sectors with strong job growth, professional and business services added 8,800 jobs, leisure and hospitality added 8,400 jobs, education and health services added 6,600 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities added 4,500 jobs over the year.
The government sector lost 6,100 jobs over the year, including 4,000 state jobs and 1,900 local government jobs. The only private sectors that lost jobs over the year were information, which lost 1,500, mining and logging, which was down 1,200, and financial activities with a slight decline of 100 jobs.
A separate BLS survey of 750 households is used to estimate unemployment and the civilian labor force, defined as the total number of people who are employed plus those looking for work. Not seasonally adjusted data show the civilian labor force added 54,887 people over the year, with the ranks of the employed growing by 49,005 during the same period. By comparison, the number of unemployed rose by 5,882 over the year.
Over the month, the civilian labor force shrank by 923 people. The number of employed rose 6,214 during that time, and the number of unemployed people dropped by 7,137, not seasonally adjusted data show.
Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in September, an increase of a 0.1 percentage point over the year but a 0.3 percentage point improvement from August 2014.
“Over the year our labor force grew and the vast majority of this growth is reflected in the number of people employed,” Eysink said. “While there is a modest uptick in the unemployment rate, it is not a result of more people losing jobs. Rather, it results from more people entering the workforce to find jobs. This is supported by declining numbers of new and continuing unemployment benefit claims during the period.”
Not seasonally adjusted September unemployment rates and their over-the-year changes in Louisiana’s eight metro areas were as follows:
Alexandria: 6.5 percent, up from 6.1 percent in September 2013;
Baton Rouge: 5.6 percent, unchanged;
Houma, 4.2 percent, up from 3.9 percent;
Lafayette: 4.7 percent, up from 4.4 percent;
Lake Charles: 5.5 percent, unchanged;
Monroe: 6.5 percent, up from 6.2 percent;
New Orleans: 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 percent;
Shreveport: 6.6 percent, up from 6.5 percent.
Although not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates rose over the year in most metro areas, the rates improved from August 2014 in all eight metro areas and all but six parishes, the data show.
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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