BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s nonfarm employment rose to an August monthly record while the state’s unemployment rate fell to 6.0 percent, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state added 4,400 nonfarm jobs in August and 7,000 nonfarm jobs over the 12-month period, bringing the total to 1,992,200 jobs, according to a seasonally adjusted BLS survey of 7,000 Louisiana employers. Private employment rose by 11,200 jobs over the year, marking the 59th consecutive month of over-the-year increases.
The number of people looking for work in Louisiana declined by 14,297 over the prior 12 months to the lowest level of the year in August. The state’s total civilian labor force, which includes those employed plus those looking for work, increased by 10,591 over the 12-month period, with 24,888 more people working than in August 2014. Last month’s civilian labor force and the number of people employed in it were the highest August levels in history. The unemployment rate of 6.0 percent was down 0.2 percentage points from July, its lowest level since May 2014.
“The August data shows a continuation of the long-term trend of more jobs and more people working in Louisiana. Were it not for job losses related to the price of oil, we would expect even better numbers,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “The longer the price of oil stays low, the more we would expect to see collateral impact on other sectors.”
Mining and logging – which includes the oil sector in which prices have slumped– showed continued employment declines. There were 800 fewer jobs over the month and 7,800 fewer jobs over the year, bringing the total to 46,000 jobs, the lowest level in that sector since December 2005.
Education and health services showed the largest increases with 4,300 more jobs over the month and 11,000 more jobs over the year. Leisure and hospitality added 2,600 jobs and the government sector added 2,100 jobs in August but lost 4,200 jobs over the 12-month period. Local government has consistently lost jobs annually since September 2010, and is at its lowest level of employment since July 2007. Since August 2013, state government employment has been lower than when the series started in 1990. Professional and business services added 1,100 jobs in August and 3,700 jobs over the year, making August the highest month on record for jobs in this sector.
Manufacturing lost 1,600 jobs over the month but gained 1,600 jobs over the year while trade, transportation, and utilities lost 1,800 jobs in August and 1,600 jobs over the year.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission will release data for the nine Metropolitan Statistical Areas on Sept. 29.
Seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparisons among states and the nation. Not-seasonally-adjusted data are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas, and for comparing them to the state. In 2015, the BLS will not provide seasonally adjusted data for the Lafayette, Shreveport, or Hammond metro areas because of significant changes in their parish composition. BLS plans to review those metro areas in 2016 to consider resuming seasonally adjusted estimates.
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 menu. Then select LOIS (Louisiana Occupational Information System) and select Employment and Wage Data listed under Historical Data Analysis.
To view the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics for the state, visit http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=la. For BLS nonfarm employment data, click here: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=sm.
Resources for employers and job seekers
Job seekers can explore careers, apply for top-rated jobs and connect with local training providers using Louisiana Star Jobs, the LWC’s free career tool. Louisiana Star Jobs can be accessed at www.laworks.net/Stars.
Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at www.laworks.net. Click on HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) and create an account allowing access to qualified job seekers.
Job also seekers have a new LWC online tool to aid in career planning. My Life. My Way helps users estimate living costs around Louisiana and connects them to occupations that afford their desired lifestyle. Visit My Life. My Way at laworks.net/mylife.
Connect with the Louisiana Workforce Commission socially at facebook.com/louisianaworks, twitter.com/louisianaworks and linkedin.com/company/louisiana-workforce-commission.
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