News - Details
Date:November 17, 2017
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

October’s unemployment rate at 4.8 percent, continues historic decline

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s October seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.8 percent. This figure is 0.3 percentage points lower than September’s rate of 5.1 percent. This is the sixth consecutive month the unemployment rate has declined. The last time the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.8 percent was June 2008.

According to data released today by the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment added 8,600 jobs from October 2016. This marks the sixth consecutive month that nonfarm jobs have posted over-the-year gains. From September 2017, nonfarm jobs decreased by 2,800 to 1,977,700. Private-sector employment grew by 12,600 jobs from October 2016. This is the seventh consecutive month that the private sector has posted over-the-year gains. From September 2017, private-sector employment decreased by 1,800 to 1,657,800.

“Thus far in 2017, four industry sectors hit all-time record employment. We are encouraged by these figures and the sharp decline in unemployment. LWC will remain steadfast in its commitment to job seekers and employers,” said Ava Dejoie, Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director. “More than 12,000 jobs currently are available in HiRE (Helping Individuals Reach Employment), our on-line employment site. We are continuing our efforts to work with the businesses throughout the state on customized training programs to meet the workforce demands.”

Seasonally adjusted employed individuals grew by 9,098 from September 2017. The number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased to 100,275 from September 2017. Since October 2016, the number of unemployed individuals has decreased 27,508.

The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased to 2,086,965.

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs:

• Professional and Business Services gained 4,900 jobs for the month and is up 2,800 jobs for the year.

• Education and Health Services gained 400 jobs for the month and is up 4,400 jobs for the year.

• Financial Activities gained 900 jobs for the month and is up 1,000 jobs for the year.

Among other seasonally adjusted sectors in October:

• Other Services, which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair and services, lost 200 jobs for the month, but is up 1,400 jobs for the year. Despite the decrease from September, Other Services remains at the second-highest recorded series of employment.

• Mining and Logging, which includes industries in the oil and gas sector, lost 700 jobs for the month and is down 600 jobs for the year.

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

• Alexandria gained 100 jobs from September 2017, but is down 700 jobs from October 2016.

• Baton Rouge lost 800 jobs from September 2017, but is up 4,100 jobs from October 2016. The Baton Rouge MSA has had ten straight over-the-year increases.

• Houma lost 100 jobs from September 2017 and is down 1,700 jobs from October 2016.

• Lafayette lost 700 jobs from September 2017 and is down 700 jobs from October 2016.

• Lake Charles gained 300 jobs from September 2017 and is up 4,700 jobs from October 2016. The Lake Charles MSA has had over-the-year increases for 76 consecutive months.

• Monroe gained 300 jobs from September 2017 and is up 500 jobs from October 2016. The Monroe MSA has had 13 straight over-the-year increases.

• New Orleans lost 1,600 jobs from September 2017, but is up 400 jobs from October 2016.

• Shreveport lost 1,000 jobs from September 2017 and is down 2,600 jobs from October 2016.

The BLS does not report seasonally adjusted data for Hammond, due to the fact that it is a recently designated MSA, and has not yet had time to acquire seasonally adjusted data for the area.

• Hammond gained 500 jobs from September 2017 and is up 800 jobs from October 2016.

Not-seasonally adjusted MSA and individual parish data for October 2017 will be released on November 28, 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 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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