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Date:April 28, 2015
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana Sees Growth in Labor Force, Number Employed

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s overall labor force and the number of those employed in the labor force both grew in March, according to not seasonally adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s civilian labor force grew by 27,906 over the month and by 80,629 over the year, according to the not seasonally adjusted data. Those employed in the labor force grew by 22,488 over the month and 58,196 over the year. Both figures are the highest for the month of March in the state’s history.

Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 6.4 percent over the month with an increase of 5,418 in the number of people unemployed, according to estimates from a BLS survey of 750 Louisiana households.

“Once again the increase in the unemployment rate is driven by the massive increase in people looking for work in Louisiana, not by layoffs,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink. “Despite a modest increase in the unemployment rate, we have another month with a huge increase in the number of people who are working and we saw a solid increase in the number of available jobs.”

A separate BLS survey of 7,000 employers across industries and the state found Louisiana added 4,400 nonfarm jobs in March to bring the nonfarm employment total to 1,983,600, not seasonally adjusted data show.

Private employers added 5,100 jobs over the month and 20,300 jobs over the year. Education and health services posted the largest over-the-month increase with 2,000 additional jobs in March. Trade, transportation, and utilities added 1,700 jobs, leisure and hospitality grew by 1,500 jobs and professional and business services grew by 800 jobs.

The government sector lost 700 state government jobs in March and 5,700 state and local government jobs over the year, according to not seasonally adjusted data. Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas, lost 500 jobs over the month and 4,400 jobs over the year.

The Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area added 1,800 nonfarm jobs over the month and 8,100 jobs over the year, making March the 51st consecutive month of over-the-year increases. With 45 months of over-the-year increases in nonfarm employment, Lake Charles grew by 7,000 jobs over the year. Alexandria has had 20 consecutive months of over-the-year increases.

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates also rose slightly over the month in Louisiana’s nine metro areas as follows:

• Alexandria: 6.6 percent, up from 6.5 percent in February;

• Baton Rouge: 5.6 percent, up from 5.5 percent;

• Hammond: 7.2 percent, up from 7.1 percent;

• Houma, 5.5 percent, up from 5.0 percent;

• Lafayette: 6.0 percent, up from 5.7 percent;

• Lake Charles: 5.5 percent, up from 5.4 percent;

• Monroe: 6.9 percent, up from 6.8 percent;

• New Orleans: 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 percent;

• Shreveport: 7.0 percent, up from 6.8 percent.

Not seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas, and for comparing them to the state. Seasonally adjusted data, which we released Tuesday, are useful for comparisons among states and the nation.

Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at www.laworks.net and create a HiRE account which will provide access to qualified job seekers. Individuals looking for jobs in high-value careers should use Louisiana Star Jobs, the LWC’s free career exploration and job search tool, at www.laworks.net/stars. A mobile version of Louisiana Star Jobs is also available at m.laworks.net.

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 Monthly Employment Bulletin – Workforce At A Glance or Monthly Employment Statistics Press Release for the latest monthly nonfarm and labor force data.

Connect with the Louisiana Workforce Commission socially at facebook.com/louisianaworks, twitter.com/louisianaworks and linkedin.com/company/louisiana-workforce-commission.

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.

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