Date:March 13, 2017
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

2017 over-the-month industry gains move Louisiana in right direction

BATON ROUGE – Seasonally adjusted Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) data for January 2017 released today shows Louisiana’s unemployment rate dipped to 5.9% from December’s rate of 6.0%. The unemployment rate is down 0.3 percentage points from the January 2016 rate of 6.2%.

The state’s seasonally-adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 6,000 jobs over the month. The seasonally-adjusted total nonfarm jobs decreased by 7,500 jobs over the year. Seasonally-adjusted private sector employment was 1,650,700 in January 2017, up by 4,800 jobs over the month. This number is down 5,200 jobs over the year.

In key sectors, some industries showed improvement over the month.

• Construction gained 7,600 jobs over the month and 9,900 jobs for the year.

• Education and health services gained 1,800 jobs over the month and 7,500 jobs for the year

• Government gained 1,200 jobs over the month but lost 2,300 jobs over the year.

January 2017 data shows that the mining and logging sector, which includes oil and gas, gained 200 jobs for the month but was down 7,400 jobs for the year. Other sectors showed the following results.

• Manufacturing gained 2,000 jobs for the month, but was down 3,900 jobs on the year.

• Financial activities remained unchanged for the month, but lost 200 jobs over the year.

• Professional and business services, which include companies that provide services and other necessities for oil-related businesses, lost 1,800 jobs for the month, and 1,400 jobs on the year.

The January 2017 seasonally-adjusted civilian labor force (people employed as well as those who are unemployed but looking for a job) in Louisiana showed a loss of 856 over the month and 41,197 individuals over the year. Not seasonally-adjusted civilian labor force are down 10,248 over the month and 37,658 people over the year.

New benchmarked data shows that the average number of seasonally-adjusted nonfarm jobs in 2016 was 1,971,500, which was 4,600 fewer than previously estimated. The average not seasonally-adjusted nonfarm jobs in 2016 was 1,971,300.

Benchmarking is the BLS’s adjustments to prior years’ data. During this procedure, survey data, used to prepare monthly reports on nonfarm employment, the labor force and unemployment rates is replaced by the actual employment data contained in the quarterly wage and tax reports filed by Louisiana employers.

“These gains show the state is moving in the right direction and I’m confident we will continue on this successful track for 2017,” said LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie. “There are important initiatives already in place to ensure that everyone who can contribute to making Louisiana a better state has an opportunity to do so. While there were many unexpected challenges that devastated several communities statewide last year, this latest news is a testament to the resiliency and commitment of our agency to being part of the solution in helping individuals get back to work.”

The Louisiana Workforce Commission works tirelessly to help displaced workers regain entry into the workforce through a variety of initiatives.

Registered Apprenticeship will allow the LWC to partner with state high schools and the Ochsner Health System. Aimed at developing Registered Apprenticeship programs in surgical technician and licensed practical nurse fields, the LWC will look to increase the number of all registered apprentices in the state of Louisiana by 100 percent over the next three years.

Not seasonally-adjusted nonfarm data showed Louisiana’s total nonfarm jobs dropped by 27,600 jobs over-the-month and 13,000 jobs over the year. Private sector employment dropped by 22,200 jobs over the month and 10,200 jobs over the year.

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

• Alexandria gained 900 jobs over the month and lost 400 jobs over the year.

• Baton Rouge gained 4,100 jobs over the month and gained 1,300 jobs over the year.

• Houma lost 200 jobs over the month and 6,000 jobs over the year.

• Lafayette gained 900 jobs over the month and lost 9,000 jobs over the year.

• Lake Charles gained 700 jobs over the month and 5,600 jobs over the year.

• Monroe lost 300 jobs over the month and gained 200 jobs over the year.

• New Orleans lost 1,400 jobs over the month and gained 300 jobs over the year.

• Shreveport gained 100 jobs over the month and lost 2,900 jobs over the year.

The BLS does not report seasonally-adjusted data for Hammond, due to the fact that it is a recent designated MSA, and has not yet had time to acquire seasonally-adjusted data for the area.

• Hammond lost 800 jobs over the month and gained 800 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.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission will report monthly, state, parish and MSA employment data for February on March 27, 2017.

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.

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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