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Date:June 16, 2017
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Nonfarm & private sector jobs improve, Louisiana economy picks up

BATON ROUGE – Seasonally adjusted data for the month of May shows that total nonfarm employment gained 10,500 jobs over the month for a new figure of 1,983,200. This is the largest over the month gain since July 2011. In addition, this figure is up 9,400 jobs for the year.

Seasonally adjusted total private-sector employment increased by 9,100 jobs over the month, bringing the new total for May to 1,659,100. There have been over-the-month gains in the private sector four of the last six months. This figure is up 12,600 jobs for the year.

During the month of May, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage points to 5.7 percent. In comparison to the May 2016 unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, this number is down 0.5 percentage points.

“Our agency is dedicated to matching qualified persons with available job opportunities. These latest figures are a reflection of that commitment, highlighting noticeable improvement to the state’s employment landscape over the past month,” said Ava Dejoie Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “Moving forward, we must remain diligent in our efforts to improve job prospects for individuals looking to reenter the workforce.”

The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, decreased slightly over the month by 2,410 to 2,118,719.

The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals decreased by 611, bringing the new total to 1,997,546. When compared to the May 2016 seasonally adjusted figure of 1,994,792, this figure is up by 2,754. In addition, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals showed improvement with a decrease of 1,799. This brings the new figure to 121,173.

Industries that showed the largest gains in seasonally adjusted jobs:

• Construction gained 5,000 jobs for the month and is up 12,600 jobs for the year.

• Education and Health Services gained 200 jobs for the month and is up 7,000 jobs for the year.

• Professional and Business Services gained 2,000 jobs for the month and is up 2,800 jobs for the year.

• Other services which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair and services gained 900 jobs for the month and is up 1,900 jobs for the year.

Among other seasonally adjusted sectors in May:

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 1,900 jobs for the month, but is down 400 jobs for the year.

• Mining and Logging which includes industries in the oil & gas sector lost 1,000 jobs for the month and is down 4,200 jobs for the year.

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

• Alexandria remained unchanged for the month, but is down 700 jobs over the year.

• Baton Rouge lost 1,200 jobs for the month, but is up 2,600 jobs over the year.

• Houma lost 400 jobs for the month and is down 4,400 jobs over the year.

• Lafayette gained 500 jobs for the month, but is down 2,600 jobs over the year.

• Lake Charles gained 1,600 jobs for the month and is up 5,000 jobs over the year.

• Monroe lost 300 jobs for the month, but is up 300 jobs over the year.

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

• Shreveport lost 200 jobs for the month and is down 2,600 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 300 jobs for the month and is up 600 jobs over the year.

MSA and individual parish data for May 2017 will be released on June 23, 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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