News
Date:October 18, 2019
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

New Orleans metro area at highest level since Katrina; Seasonal & not seasonal nonfarm jobs increase

BATON ROUGE – Preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows that the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has added jobs over the year for 15 straight months, and is at its highest level of employment since August of 2005, pre Hurricane Katrina. The Baton Rouge MSA is at its highest recorded employment at 412,600 jobs.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has increased by 6,200 jobs from 1,985,500 in September 2018 to 1,991,700 jobs in September 2019. This is the second consecutive month that seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has added jobs over the year. From August 2019, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has increased by 5,100 jobs. This is the third consecutive month that seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has added jobs over the month.

Seasonally adjusted private sector employment has increased by 7,900 jobs from 1,657,800 in September 2018 to 1,665,700 jobs in September 2019. This is the 19th straight month that seasonally adjusted private sector employment has added jobs over the year. From August 2019, seasonally adjusted private sector employment has increased by 5,900 jobs. This is the third consecutive month that seasonally adjusted private sector employment has added jobs over the month.

“For the second straight month over the year, seasonally and not seasonally adjusted nonfarm and private sector employment continues to add jobs in the state of Louisiana,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Dejoie. “The past six months with Louisiana maintaining its full employment status, is a testament to Governor John Bel Edwards’ direction and leadership from where Louisiana has been, to where our great state is headed. The LWC will continue to work closely with employers and monitor the needs of the workforce, to match the thousands of current available positions to qualified job-seekers.”

For the sixth straight month, Louisiana remained at full employment with a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.3 percent in September 2019. When compared to September 2018, Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has decreased 0.6 percentage points.

The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 6,930 from 1,996,344 in September 2018 to 2,003,274 in September 2019. The number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 11,863 from 102,815 in September 2018 to 90,952 in September 2019.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work increased by 47 from 2,094,179 in August 2019 to 2,094,226 in September 2019.

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs:

• Education and Health Services gained 12,500 jobs from September 2018 and 2,000 jobs from August 2019.

- The Education and Health Services sector is at a series high for employment at 328,400.

• Healthcare and Social Assistance subsector gained 12,200 jobs from September 2018 and 2,000 jobs from August 2019.

- The Healthcare and Social Assistance subsector is at a series high for employment at 281,400 jobs.

• Professional and Business Services gained 1,900 jobs from September 2018 and 1,300 jobs from August 2019.

• Manufacturing gained 4,000 jobs from September 2018 and 2,800 jobs from August 2019.

• Other Services, which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair services gained 1,500 jobs from September 2018, but remained unchanged from August 2019.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)

Among Louisiana’s MSAs, seasonally adjusted data shows:

• Alexandria gained 200 jobs from September 2018, but remained unchanged from August 2019.

• Baton Rouge gained 2,600 jobs from September 2018 and 400 jobs from August 2019. The Baton Rouge MSA is at series high for employment at 412,600 jobs.

• Hammond gained 500 jobs from September 2018, but remained unchanged from August 2019.

• Houma lost 2,800 jobs from September 2018, but remained unchanged from August 2019.

• Lafayette gained 1,600 jobs from September 2018, but lost 300 jobs from August 2019.

• Lake Charles gained 300 jobs from September 2018 and 200 jobs from August 2019.

• Monroe lost 100 jobs from September 2018, but remained unchanged from August 2019.

• New Orleans gained 10,200 jobs from September 2018 and 3,400 jobs from August 2019.

• Shreveport lost 3,000 jobs from September 2018, but gained 800 jobs from August 2019.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 9,200 jobs from 1,980,200 in September 2018 to 1,989,400 jobs in September 2019. From August 2019, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has increased by 10,100 jobs.

Not seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 10,600 jobs from 1,652,100 in September 2018 to 1,662,700 in September 2019.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.4 percentage points from 4.9 percent in September 2018 to 4.5 percent September 2019. From August 2019, Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also decreased 0.4 percentage points.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work increased by 1,960 from 2,093,336 in September 2018 to 2,095,296 in September 2019. From August 2019, Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force increased by 5,347.

The number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 9,704 from 1,990,366 in September 2018 to 2,000,070 in September 2019. From August 2019, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 12,508.

The number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 7,774 from 102,970 in September 2018 to 95,226 in September 2019. From August 2019, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 7,161.

September metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be released on October 25, 2019. For additional state and MSA data release dates, please click here.

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 not 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.

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 worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.

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