BATON ROUGE – Powered by steadily improving conditions in Louisiana’s economy, the number of individuals employed in Louisiana has increased over the year by 44,453 to 2,041,419 in May. This is the second-highest number of individuals employed in Louisiana in the series history.
Louisiana’s civilian labor force is now 2,138,975, which is the highest number of individuals in Louisiana’s labor force since March 2016. The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of individuals who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 992 over the month and 29,985 from May 2017. Louisiana’s labor-participation rate, which now stands at 59.5 percent, is up 0.1 percentage points since April 2018.
Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment gained 18,900 jobs since May 2017, the eighth straight month of over-the-year-gains. This brings Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs total to 1,992,000. From April, there was an over-the-month loss in Health Care and Social Assistance of more than 2,800 jobs, resulting in a combined statewide over-the-month loss of 200 jobs – the first over-the-month loss since November 2017.
Seasonally adjusted, private-sector employment saw an over-the-month increase of 500 jobs and an over-the-year increase of 21,700 jobs, bringing the total to 1,667,000 jobs. Total private employment has added jobs over the month in seven of the last eight months.
“Louisiana is breaking records in terms of employment, and that is exciting news for everyone in our state,” said Ava Dejoie, Executive Director of the LWC. “Louisiana’s employment outlook has shown marked improvement in the last year, with more job seekers finding opportunities to advance their careers. A strong workforce is absolutely vital in terms of Louisiana’s overall health, and meeting the needs of employers and job seekers remains our focus.”
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased in May by 0.7 percentage points when compared to May 2017. The unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points over-the-month to 4.6 percent. This is the lowest unemployment rate for the month of May since 2008. The number of unemployed declined over the year by 14,468.
Monthly, not seasonally adjusted
A full release of the not-seasonally adjusted data will occur on June 22, 2018; however the statewide not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 4.7%, which is an increase of 0.4 percentage points from last month and a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from May 2017. The over-the-month increase follows a 28-year pattern of a rate increase in the month of May. The not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has seen over-the year declines for 20 straight months. For additional state and MSA data release dates, please click here.
Industry sectors, MSAs
Louisiana seasonally adjusted industry sectors May jobs data:
• Construction gained 2,300 jobs over the month and added 3,200 jobs over the year. This makes six of the last seven months with over-the-month gains and 17 of the last 18 months with over-the-year gains.
• Professional and Business Services remained strong adding 500 jobs over the month and added 7,000 jobs over the year, which means this sector has enjoyed over-the-year gains in nine of the last ten months.
• Leisure and Hospitality gained 600 jobs over the month and added 6,700 jobs over the year, racking up twelve consecutive over-the-year gains resulting in a series high of 238,400 jobs.
• Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 900 jobs over the month but lost 1,700 jobs over the year.
• Information Services gained 200 jobs over the month and added 400 jobs over the year, which shows back to back over-the-year gains after ten straight losses.
• Manufacturing showed no change over the month, but added 2,700 jobs over the year, which makes six straight gains over the year.
• Education and Health Services lost 2,800 jobs over the month. The sector has added 3,400 jobs over the year, which means it has added jobs over the year for 140 consecutive months.
o Educational Services remained unchanged over the month but lost 900 jobs since May 2017.
o Health Care and Social Assistance lost 2,800 over the month but is up 4,300 since May 2017.
• Financial Activities lost 500 jobs over the month and lost 900 jobs over the year, resulting in 19 straight months of over the year losses.
• Other Services lost 300 jobs over the month, but added 1,000 jobs over the year.
• Government lost 700 jobs over the month and lost 2,800 jobs over the year.
• Mining and Logging lost 400 jobs over the month and lost 100 jobs over the year, ending a streak of three straight over-the-month gains.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) jobs data:
• Alexandria was unchanged from April 2018 and gained 400 jobs from May 2017.
• Baton Rouge gained 100 jobs from April 2018 and gained 3,500 jobs from May 2017, bringing the May 2018 total to 409,900 – a series high.
• Hammond lost 100 jobs from April 2018, but gained 800 jobs from May 2017.
• Houma lost 100 jobs from April 2018, but gained 400 jobs from May 2017. The May 2018 total for this region is 86,300, which reflects five consecutive over-the-year gains.
• Lafayette gained 500 jobs from April 2018 but lost 700 jobs from May 2017, bringing the total to 201,300, which shows over-the-year gains for three consecutive months and over-the-year gains in five of the last 6 months.
• Lake Charles gained 600 jobs from April 2018 and 4,100 from May 2017, bringing the May 2018 total to 119,800 – a series high.
• Monroe gained 200 jobs from April 2018 and 500 jobs from May 2017.
• New Orleans gained 1,400 jobs from April 2018 and 5,800 from May 2017.
• Shreveport lost 500 jobs from April 2018 but gained 1,100 jobs from May 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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