BATON ROUGE – Louisiana added 7,300 nonfarm jobs in October while the state’s unemployment rate declined from 6.4 percent to 6.3 percent, according to seasonally-adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month’s gains represented the largest over-the-month increase for October in Louisiana since 2008 and the second-largest over-the-month percent increase in the nation. Last month, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) hosted nearly 30 hiring events statewide to secure employment for job-seekers in a variety of industries while 319 job-seekers found employment through the LWC’s HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) re-employment system.
Private-sector jobs increased by 8,500 in October, led by gains in the construction, professional and business services and education and health services sectors. Construction added 4,600 jobs in October, the largest over-the-month gain since January 2006, and professional and business services added 2,400 jobs. The education and health services sector is now at record employment with an additional 1,100 jobs.
“These numbers are encouraging for our state’s economy even amidst continued uncertainty about the future of the oil and gas industry,” said LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie. “We expect gains in the leisure and hospitality and retail trade sectors and a slowdown in construction and mining over the next few months as they follow their normal seasonal trends.”
With 5,700 new jobs in October and 13,300 new jobs over the past year, the Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is now at record employment. The area has had 71 consecutive months of over-the-year gains. Lake Charles has more than five years of consecutive over-the-year gains and Monroe has gained jobs over the year for 23 consecutive months.
Seasonally-adjusted data showed the following for the state’s MSAs:
• Alexandria lost 300 jobs over the month and 400 jobs over the year.
• Baton Rouge gained 5,700 jobs over the month and 13,300 jobs over the year.
• Houma lost 100 jobs over the month and 2,300 jobs over the year.
• Lake Charles was unchanged over the month and gained 2,600 jobs over the year.
• Monroe gained 300 jobs over the month and 500 jobs over the year.
• New Orleans gained 1,500 jobs over the month and 1,300 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 October showed:
• Hammond lost 200 jobs over the month and gained 200 jobs over the year.
• Lafayette was unchanged over the month and lost 6,900 jobs over the year.
• Shreveport gained 300 jobs over the month and lost 1,100 jobs over the year.
Seasonally-adjusted data are useful for comparisons among states and the nation while not-seasonally-adjusted data are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas, and for comparison to the state.
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 Data Trends. 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.
Job-seekers and employers are encouraged to register with the LWC’s HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) re-employment system at https://www.louisianaworks.net/hire/. Employers can post jobs, conduct detailed résumé searches and access training incentives while job-seekers can file for unemployment assistance and search for jobs specific to their needs and qualifications.
The LWC will release not-seasonally-adjusted civilian labor force data for all MSAs on Tuesday, November 29.
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.
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