BATON ROUGE – Unemployment rates declined in November from year-ago levels in most of Louisiana’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), according to not-seasonally-adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state’s November unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, down from 6.8 percent a year earlier. Unemployment rates fell over the year in all nine MSAs except Lafayette and Houma-Thibodaux. Lafayette and Houma-Thibodaux have been hit hard by low oil prices. Lafayette lost 5,100 jobs over the year and has recorded eight consecutive months of over-the-year losses.
Only the Baton Rouge and Lake Charles MSAs showed job gains over the year. Employment in the Baton Rouge MSA is at a historic high with 59 consecutive months of over-the-year increases. Lake Charles has recorded 53 consecutive months of over-the-year increases.
The BLS data also show the number of people employed in the state’s civilian labor force fell about 40,000 over the year, standing at 2,013,141 in November 2015. The data show the number of unemployed people also declined in Louisiana, with 125,212 people out of work in November 2015 compared with 148,719 a year earlier.
Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink said the data confirm low oil prices continue to depress employment in Louisiana. “The oil-sensitive coastal parishes have taken a blow, with 9,600 of the job losses over the year in the Lafayette, Houma-Thibodaux and New Orleans areas,” he said.
Not-seasonally-adjusted November unemployment rates and over-the-year nonfarm job change totals for the state and its MSAs are as follows:
• Statewide: 5.9 percent, down from 6.8 percent in November 2014. Down 11,500 jobs.
• Alexandria: 6.0 percent, down from 7.1 percent in November 2014. Down 800 jobs.
• Baton Rouge: 4.9 percent, down from 6.1 percent in November 2014. Up 9,100 jobs.
• Hammond: 6.5 percent, down from 7.7 percent in November 2014. Unchanged from last year.
• Houma-Thibodaux: 5.6 percent, up from 5.4 percent in November 2014. Down 2,800 jobs.
• Lafayette: 6.3 percent, up from 5.8 percent in November 2014. Down 5,100 jobs.
• Lake Charles: 4.8 percent, down from 6.1 percent in November 2014. Up 4,000 jobs.
• Monroe: 6.1 percent, down from 7.4 percent in November 2014. Down 1,000 jobs.
• New Orleans: 5.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent in November 2014. Down 1,700 jobs.
• Shreveport: 6.4 percent, down from 7.5 percent in November 2014. Down 2,000 jobs.
To view all available employment data, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at 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 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.
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