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Date:May 19, 2017
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Civilian labor force improves for third consecutive month

BATON ROUGE – The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people that are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 7,676 from March, bringing the current total to 2,121,473. April marks the third consecutive month the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force has improved with a new total of 1,998,453, the number of employed individuals grew by 4,855.

According to not seasonally adjusted figures, the civilian labor force increased by 5,797, bringing the new total to 2,117,468. This is also the third consecutive month in which the not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force has increased. Not seasonally adjusted employed individuals grew by 1,856, bringing a new total for April to 1,998,757.

“Working closely with employers, employees and job-seekers enables us to understand the employment and training needs of Louisiana residents,” said Ava Dejoie Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “The increase of 7,676 people employed or looking for work is a demonstration that we are listening and engaging with robust resources to continue growing the labor force.”

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate slightly increased to 5.8 percent during April. Although the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points from March, this figure is down 0.4 percentage points from April 2016.

The increase in the civilian labor force this month positively affected the labor force participation rate, a measure indicating the share of residents engaged in the labor market. The labor force participation rate increased over the month from 58.8 percent to 59 percent.

For April, seasonally adjusted figures show that total nonfarm jobs increased by 500, to 1,974,400. Seasonally adjusted total private sector jobs increased by 1,000, which brings the number of seasonally adjusted jobs to 1,651,700 for April. This figure is up 1,800 for the year.

Not seasonally adjusted data shows that total nonfarm jobs also increased by 7,900, now totaling 1,976,500. Total private not seasonally adjusted data showed a similar increase with the addition of 7,200 jobs, and a new figure of 1,651,100 for the month.

Industries that showed the largest gains in seasonal adjusted employment;

• Education and health services gained 1,300 jobs for the month and is up 7,500 jobs for the year.

• Financial Activities gained 1,000 jobs for the month and is up 100 jobs for the year.

• Other services which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair and services gained 400 jobs for the month and is up 800 jobs for the year.

Among other seasonally adjusted sectors in April:

• Trade, transportation and utilities gained 400 jobs for the month, but is down 3,500 jobs for the year.

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 200 jobs for the month, but is down 3,000 jobs for the year.

• Mining and Logging which includes industries in the oil & gas sector gained 100 jobs for the month, but is down 3,700 jobs for the year.

Among Louisiana’s nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), Lafayette gained the largest number of jobs over the month, followed by Lake Charles. Remaining seasonally-adjusted data for April showed:

• Alexandria remained unchanged for the month, but is down 500 jobs over the year.

• Baton Rouge lost 1,100 jobs for the month, but is up 1,100 jobs over the year.

• Houma gained 100 jobs for the month, but is down 4,400 jobs over the year.

• Lafayette gained 1,800 jobs for the month, but is down 3,400 jobs over the year.

• Lake Charles gained 900 jobs for the month and is up 5,100 jobs over the year.

• Monroe gained 100 jobs for the month and is up 400 jobs over the year.

• New Orleans lost 200 jobs for the month and is down 500 jobs over the year.

• Shreveport lost 300 jobs for the month and is down 2,100 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 100 jobs for the month and is up 600 jobs over the year.

MSA and individual parish data for April 2017 will be released on May 26, 2017.

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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