BATON ROUGE – Not seasonally adjusted data released last week by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows that the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 14,930 to 2,009,360 from September 2018. The number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 6,117 to 98,627 over that same time frame.
From September 2018, the not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work increased by 8,813 to 2,107,987.
The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 4.7 percent from September.
Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)
From September 2018, all nine MSAs saw a decline in their not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates. This is the third straight month unemployment rates have declined over the month for all MSAs.
Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates are below:
• Alexandria: 5.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent in September, but up from 4.7 percent from October 2017.
• Baton Rouge: 4.2 percent, down from 4.5 percent in September, but up from 3.8 percent from October 2017.
• Hammond: 5.0 percent, down from 5.4 percent in September, but up from 4.5 percent from October 2017.
• Houma: 4.8 percent, down from 5.0 percent in September, but up from 4.4 percent from October 2017.
• Lafayette: 4.7 percent, down from 5.0 percent in September, but up from 4.6 percent from October 2017.
• Lake Charles: 3.5 percent, down from 3.8 percent in September, but up from 3.3 percent from October 2017.
• Monroe: 5.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent in September, but up from 4.5 percent from October 2017.
• New Orleans: 4.4 percent, down from 4.8 percent in September, but up from 4.1 percent from October 2017.
• Shreveport: 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in September, but up from 4.7 percent from October 2017.
Seasonally Adjusted vs. Not-Seasonally Adjusted Data
Jobs and employment trends data are often difficult to understand because there are two different ways to look at the data, seasonally or non-seasonally adjusted data.
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 worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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