News
Date:September 28, 2018
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment rates decline in all metropolitan areas

BATON ROUGE – From July 2018, all nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) saw declines in their not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates. From August 2017, six of the nine MSAs saw declines in their not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates.

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates are below:

• Alexandria: 6.1 percent, down from 6.3 percent in July and down from 6.2 percent from August 2017.

• Baton Rouge: 5.0 percent, down from 5.3 percent in July, but up from 4.9 percent from August 2017.

• Hammond: 6.1 percent, down from 6.5 percent in July and down from 6.2 percent from August 2017.

• Houma: 5.4 percent, down from 5.8 percent in July and down from 5.7 percent from August 2017.

• Lafayette: 5.5 percent, down from 5.9 percent in July and down from 5.9 percent from August 2017.

• Lake Charles: 4.2 percent, down from 4.5 percent in July, but remained unchanged from August 2017.

• Monroe: 5.9 percent, down from 6.1 percent in July, but up from 5.7 percent from August 2017.

• New Orleans: 5.3 percent, down from 5.6 percent in July and down from 5.4 percent from August 2017.

• Shreveport: 5.9 percent, down from 6.2 percent in July and down from 6.0 percent from August 2017.

The statewide not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined 0.4 percentage points from July 2018 to 5.5 percent. The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points from August 2017.

From August 2017, the total of not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs increased by 16,600 to 1,978,200. This is the eleventh-straight not seasonally adjusted nonfarm over-the-year increase. From July 2018, the number of not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs increased by 600.

Not seasonally adjusted private-sector employment increased by 19,100 jobs from August 2017 to 1,664,500. This is also the eleventh-straight month not seasonally adjusted private-sector employment has added jobs over the year.

Seasonally Adjusted vs. Not-Seasonally Adjusted Data

Job and employment trends data are often difficult to understand because there are two different types of data sets used: seasonal and non-seasonal.

Seasonal adjustment works to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns to reveal how employment and unemployment figures change from month to month. Not seasonally adjusted data retains seasonal employment trends.

Over the course of a year, the labor force size, available jobs and employment rates undergo predictable fluctuations due to seasonal changes in weather, harvests, major holidays, and school schedules. Seasonal adjustment reduces the impact of these changes, making it easier to understand trends. Seasonally adjusted data is best utilized when comparing several months of employment and jobs data, while not seasonally adjusted data is best used to compare over-the-year trends. Seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparisons among states and the nation.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission primarily uses seasonally adjusted data because it provides a more useful and telling picture of Louisiana’s jobs and employment situation.

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 workers’ compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.

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