News
Date:March 12, 2018
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment rate down by 1.2 percent from last year

BATON ROUGE – Per revisions from Bureau of Labor & Statistics (BLS) annual benchmarking procedure, Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.6 percent in January. Compared to January 2017, this figure is down 1.2 percent. This is 0.1 percentage points lower from December’s revised benchmarked figure of 4.7 percent. The last time the unemployment rate was lower was in May 2008.

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.

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 500 to 1,970,600 from January 2017. This is the fourth straight over-the-year gain. Compared to December 2017, this figure is up 300. From January 2017, seasonally adjusted private employment increased by 3,500 jobs to 1,645,400. This is also the fourth straight over-the-year gain. Since December 2017, the number of seasonally adjusted private-sector jobs increased 700.

The pre-benchmark annual average for seasonally adjusted non-farm data for 2017 was 1,979,300. With the benchmark revisions, the number now stands at 1,970,800. The pre-benchmark annual average for seasonally adjusted private sector employment was 1,657,500. With the benchmark revisions, that figure is now 1,643,700.

“Returning job seekers to the workplace remains an upmost priority of our agency,” said LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie. “This latest data underscores the ongoing efforts to reduce unemployment throughout Louisiana, and we will forge ahead with the same steadfast commitment to reinforce our state’s labor market.”

The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work increased by 10,252 to 2,120,732 since January 2017. From December 2017, it increased by 5,196.

The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 35,545 from January 2017. When comparing data from December 2017, the number of employed individuals has increased by 8,262. Compared to January 2017, the number of unemployed individuals decreased by 25,293. From December 2017, the number of unemployed individuals decreased by 3,066.

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs:

• Education & Health Services gained 2,200 jobs for the month and is up 4,700 jobs for the year.

• Manufacturing gained 700 jobs for the month and is up 500 jobs for the year.

•Other Services, which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair and services, gained 300 jobs for the month and is up 500 jobs for the year.

• Leisure & Hospitality gained 100 jobs for the month and is up 5,900 jobs for the year.

Among other seasonally adjusted sectors in January:

• Mining & Logging, which includes industries in the oil and gas sector,gained 200 jobs for the month, but is down 400 jobs for the year.

Among Louisiana’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), remaining seasonally adjusted data shows:

• Alexandria lost 100 jobs from December 2017, but is up 100 jobs from January 2017.

• Baton Rouge lost 900 jobs from December 2017 and 1,500 jobs from January 2017.

• Hammond gained 200 jobs from December 2017 and 1,400 jobs from January 2017.

• Houma gained 500 jobs from December 2017, but remained unchanged from January 2017.

• Lafayette gained 200 jobs from December 2017, but lost 1,000 jobs from January 2017.

• Lake Charles lost 200 jobs from December 2017, but gained 4,400 jobs from January 2017. The Lake Charles MSA has had over-the-year increases for 79 consecutive months.

• Monroe remained unchanged from December 2017, but lost 100 jobs from January 2017.

• New Orleans gained 2,100 jobs from December 2017 and 1,100 jobs from January 2017.

• Shreveport lost 300 jobs from December 2017 and 2,700 jobs from January 2017.

Not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment gained 800 jobs to 1,951,100 from January 2017. Over the same time period, not seasonally adjusted private-sector employment increased by 3,100 to 1,627,300

From January 2017, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 62,817 to 2,017,845. Over the same time period, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 34,941 to 93,973.

All nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) declined from January 2017. Not-seasonally adjusted January unemployment rates for the nine MSAs are as follows:

• Alexandria: 5.0 percent, up from 4.5 percent in December, but down from 6.8 percent in January 2017.

• Baton Rouge: 3.9 percent, up from 3.5 percent in December, but down from 5.4 percent in January 2017.

• Hammond: 4.9 percent, up from 4.4 percent in December, but down from 6.8 percent in January 2017.

• Houma: 4.6 percent, up from 4.2 percent in December, but down from 7.0 percent in January 2017.

• Lafayette: 4.6 percent, up from 4.2 percent in December, but down from 7.0 percent in January 2017.

• Lake Charles: 3.5 percent, up from 3.2 percent in December, but down from 4.8 percent in January 2017.

• Monroe: 4.7 percent, up from 4.2 percent in December, but down from 6.4 percent in January 2017.

• New Orleans: 4.1 percent, up from 3.7 percent in December, but down from 5.6 percent in January 2017.

• Shreveport: 4.6 percent, up from 4.3 percent in December but down from 6.5 percent in January 2017.

Statewide and MSA data for February will be released on March 27, 2018. For additional state and MSA data release dates, please click here.

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 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.

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 http://www.laworks.net/Stars/. Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at www.laworks.net. 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.

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.