Date:March 28, 2016
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Civilian labor force rises for second consecutive month after year of decline
State’s unemployment rate unchanged at 5.9 percent in February

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s total civilian labor force rose by more than 10,000 people during February, the second consecutive over-the-month increase after 12 months of declines, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s unemployment rate for February was 5.9 percent, unchanged from January but down from 6.7 percent in February 2015.

For the month, the civilian labor force – the number of people employed and unemployed but looking for a job – rose to 2,146,368, a gain of 10,428. The number of people employed grew by 8,000 over January, the largest over-the-month increase for the month of February since 1977. The BLS report showed 2,018,807 people had jobs in Louisiana during February.

“The increase in the civilian labor force may be a cautious signal that job-seekers are gaining confidence that they can find employment in our state despite the downturn in the oil and gas industry,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Ava Dejoie.

Nonfarm jobs in February totaled 1,978,500, down 4,700 from January and 18,700 from a year ago. Louisiana continued to feel the impact of low oil prices as the mining and logging sector, which includes oil and gas, lost 1,200 jobs for the month and 11,300 over the year.

Over the month, construction lost 4,700 jobs but is up 3,400 over the year. Leisure and hospitality lost 2,700 jobs in February and is down 200 over the year.

Among other sectors in February:

• Trade, transportation and utilities gained 1,400 jobs for the month. The sector is up 1,100 jobs over the year.

• Information added 1,700 jobs for the month but lost 1,100 over the year.

• Financial activities, which includes companies that lease oilfield equipment, gained 600 jobs for the month but is down 2,900 over the year.

• Professional and business services gained 800 jobs in February but lost 4,600 over the year. This sector includes companies that provide employees for oil-related companies.

• Education and health services rose 500 jobs for the month. The sector is up 6,400 jobs over the year.

• Government employment lost 300 jobs in February and is down 2,600 over the year.

Among Louisiana’s nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), seasonally-adjusted data for February showed:

• Alexandria lost 100 jobs for the month but gained 300 over the year.

• Baton Rouge lost 1,400 jobs in February but is up 7,200 over the year.

• Houma lost 500 jobs for the month and is down 6,700 over the year.

• Lake Charles gained 100 jobs for February and is up 2,300 over the year.

• Monroe had no change for the month but gained 800 jobs over the year.

• New Orleans lost 2,000 jobs over the month and is down 400 jobs over the year.

The BLS does not report seasonally-adjusted data for Hammond, Lafayette and Shreveport because of changes in those areas’ demographics. Not-seasonally-adjusted data for February showed:

• Hammond added 100 jobs for the month but lost 300 over the year.

• Lafayette gained 1,400 jobs over the month but has lost 9,100 over the year.

• Shreveport gained 300 jobs for February but has lost 2,200 over the year.

The not-seasonally-adjusted civilian labor force employment data for all MSAs in February showed each added jobs during the month.

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.

To view all available employment data, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at 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 Data Trends. To view the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics for the state, visit For BLS nonfarm employment data, click here:

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, at Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at Click on HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) and create an account allowing access to qualified job seekers.

Job-seekers can also use My Life. My Way to estimate living costs around Louisiana and to connect with occupations that afford their desired lifestyle. Visit My Life. My Way. at

Connect with the Louisiana Workforce Commission on social media at, and

About the Louisiana Workforce Commission

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.

Note: This revision date does not reflect the revision date of the press release shown. Press Release postings are updated as needed and should be considered accurate as shown.