BATON ROUGE – Data released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows that not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 19,200 from May 2017. This is the eighth consecutive over-the-year increase. From April 2018, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 5,900 jobs to 2,000,500. This is the highest employment level since December 2015.
In May 2018, data show that not seasonally adjusted private-sector employment increased by 22,000 jobs from May 2017. This is also the eighth consecutive month that the not seasonally adjusted private-sector has added jobs over the year. From April 2018, not seasonally adjusted private-sector employment added 6,200 jobs to 1,671,900.
From May 2017, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 31,372 to 2,030,577. Over that same time period, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 7,330 to 100,337.
From May 2017, the not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force increased by 24,042 individuals to 2,130,914. The civilian labor force is composed of the number of individuals who are employed in addition to those looking for work. From April 2018, the not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force decreased by 8,911.
The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points from last year to 4.7 percent. The not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has seen over-the year declines for 20 straight months. From April 2018, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points. The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increases in the summer months due to layoffs in a variety of positions who are recalled at the end of summer. Also, when compared to previous years’ data, the increase in the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is in line with historical trends.
“Louisiana has continued to make positive progress when compared to a year ago,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Ava Dejoie. “We will continue to work closely with employers and monitor the needs of the workforce to better match prospective job-seekers with family-sustaining careers that will provide long-term benefits to themselves, their families and the state of Louisiana.”
All nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) declined over the year. Not seasonally adjusted May unemployment rates for the nine MSAs are as follows:
• Alexandria: 5.1 percent, up from 4.6 percent in April, but down from 5.8 percent from May 2017.
• Baton Rouge: 4.2 percent, up from 3.8 percent in April, but down from 4.4 percent from May 2017.
• Hammond: 5.0 percent, up from 4.7 percent in April, but down from 5.7 percent from May 2017.
• Houma: 4.8 percent, up from 4.4 percent in April, but down from 5.5 percent from May 2017.
• Lafayette: 4.9 percent, up from 4.5 percent in April, but down from 5.7 percent from May 2017.
• Lake Charles: 3.7 percent, up from 3.3 percent in April, but down from 3.9 percent from May 2017.
• Monroe: 5.0 percent, up from 4.6 percent in April, but down from 5.3 percent from May 2017.
• New Orleans: 4.4 percent, up from 4.0 percent in April, but down from 4.7 percent from May 2017.
• Shreveport: 5.2 percent, up from 4.6 percent April, but down from 5.6 percent from May 2017.
Seasonally Adjusted vs. Not-Seasonally Adjusted Data
Jobs and employment trends data are often difficult to understand because there are two different ways to look at the data, seasonally or non-seasonally adjusted data.
Seasonal adjustment works to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns to reveal how employment and unemployment figures change from month to month. Not seasonally adjusted data retains seasonal employment trends and are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas, and for comparing them to the state.
Over the course of a year, the labor force size, available jobs and employment rates undergo predictable fluctuations due to seasonal changes in weather, harvests, major holidays, and school schedules. Seasonal adjustment reduces the impact of these changes, making it easier to understand trends. Seasonally adjusted data is best utilized when comparing several months of employment and jobs data, while not seasonally adjusted data is best used to compare over-the-year trends. Seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparisons among states and the nation.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission primarily uses seasonally adjusted data because it provides a more useful and telling picture of Louisiana’s jobs and employment situation.
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 workers’ compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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