Date:March 27, 2017
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

February’s monthly job growth shows significant gains throughout Louisiana

BATON ROUGE – Job creation in Louisiana is showing considerable gains in key areas for the first time in more than a year, according to the most recent released data by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) for February 2017. Seasonally adjusted over-the-month nonfarm jobs rose by 6,700 to 1,982,400 and by 3,000 over the year, according to the latest report. Total private seasonally adjusted over-the-month jobs rose by 7,400 to 1,658,800 and by 5,700 over the year.

“The creation of jobs is vital to our state’s future and I’m proud of the efforts being made by the Louisiana Workforce Commission that are helping to put more Louisianans to work,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “These latest figures demonstrate our commitment to developing a skilled workforce and creating a climate that helps businesses statewide to thrive. We will keep moving forward and building on this momentum.”

These numbers represent the first over-the-year gains for seasonally adjusted nonfarm and private employment since August 2015.

The state’s total civilian labor force, which includes the total number of people employed plus those looking for work, rose to a seasonally adjusted amount of 2,106,632, an over-the-month gain of 6,999. The number of people employed in the civilian labor force grew to 1,984,950, seasonally adjusted data from a BLS survey of 750 households show. In February, 121,682 people were looking for work – 11,281 less than a year earlier, and 1,428 fewer than in January.

February also marked the largest over-the-month increase in seasonally adjusted employed individuals since September of 1983, which grew by 8,427.

Seasonally adjusted BLS data for February 2017 shows Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent. Down 0.1 percentage points from January, this rate is down 0.4 percentage points from February 2016.

Not seasonally adjusted over-the-month nonfarm jobs also increased by 15,500 to 1,968,800. Total private not seasonally adjusted over-the-month nonfarm jobs gained 11,500 for a new total of 1,642,800.

The not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force increased by 16,808 to 2,090,947. Not seasonally adjusted employed individuals also saw a gain of 29,437 over-the-month, bringing the February total to 1,977,890. This is the highest over-the-month gain since April of 2010.

“These employment numbers are a testament to Governor Edwards’s administration, and the initiatives they’ve implemented,” said LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie. “The labor force is growing. This is a great sign for Louisiana residents who are looking to get back to work.”

Industries that showed the largest gains in seasonal adjusted employment;

• Professional and business services gained 5,400 jobs in February and is up 3,100 jobs over the year. This sector includes companies that provide support for oil-related companies.

• Construction gained 2,600 jobs over the month and is up 13,500 jobs over the year.

• Other services which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair and services gained 1,900 jobs in February and is up 2,500 jobs over the year.

Among other seasonally adjusted sectors in February:

• Mining and Logging which includes industries in the oil & gas sector gained 200 jobs on the month but lost 6,400 over the year. This is the first over-the-month gain since October 2014.

• Education and health services rose 700 jobs for the month. The sector is up 6,900 jobs over the year.

• Trade, transportation and utilities lost 5,000 jobs for the month. The sector is down 7,200 jobs over the year.

• Leisure and Hospitality lost 300 jobs for the month. It is down 2,200 jobs over the year.

Among Louisiana’s nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), Alexandria was the only area that did not gain jobs for the month. Remaining seasonally-adjusted data for February showed:

• Alexandria showed no change for the month but is down 100 jobs over the year.

• Baton Rouge gained 2,800 jobs for the month and is up 5,300 jobs over the year.

• Houma gained 500 jobs for the month but is down 4,600 jobs over the year.

• Lafayette gained 1,100 jobs over the month but is down 6,700 jobs over the year.

• Lake Charles gained 100 jobs for the month and is up 5,100 jobs over the year.

• Monroe gained 400 jobs for the month and is up 400 jobs over the year.

• New Orleans gained 500 jobs over the month and is up 1,500 jobs over the year.

• Shreveport gained 300 jobs over the month but is down 2,400 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 gained 300 jobs over the month and is up 900 jobs over the year.

Unemployment rates for February in all nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) over-the-month declined. The over-the-year unemployment rates also declined in every MSA except for Alexandria and Houma. The not-seasonally-adjusted February 2017 unemployment rates for the nine (MSAs) are as follows:

• Alexandria: 6.0 percent, down from 6.5 percent in January but up from 5.8 percent in February 2016.

• Baton Rouge: 4.6 percent, down from 5.2 percent in January and down from 4.8 percent in February 2016.

• Hammond: 5.9 percent, down from 6.7 percent in January and down from 6.5 percent in February 2016.

• Houma: 6.2 percent, down from 6.8 percent in January but unchanged from February 2016.

• Lafayette: 6.3 percent, down from 6.9 percent in January and down from 6.8 percent in February 2016.

• Lake Charles: 4.2 percent, down from 4.7 percent in January and down from 4.6 percent in February 2016.

• Monroe: 5.6 percent, down from 6.2 percent in January and down from 6.0 percent in February 2016.

• New Orleans: 4.8 percent, down from 5.4 percent in January and down from 5.2 percent in February 2016.

• Shreveport: 5.8 percent, down from 6.4 percent in January and down from 6.1 percent in February 2016.

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.

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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