BATON ROUGE – Preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows that Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 61,721 from 2,090,667 in March 2019 to 2,152,388 in March 2020. This is the second highest civilian labor force for the month of March in series history. From February 2020 Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force increased by 42,408.
The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 6,682 from 1,996,265 in March 2019 to 2,002,947 in March 2020. From February 2020, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 2,821.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 2.4 percentage points from 4.5 in March 2019 to 6.9 in March 2020. From February 2020, Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 1.7 percentage points.
When compared nationally, the United States saw a similar increase in its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 0.9 percentage points from 3.5 percent in February 2020 to 4.4 percent in March 2020.
“The state’s trajectory was positive, however the pandemic impact on our entire country and our state is unprecedented,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Dejoie. “Beginning from the week ending March 29, the LWC has paid $287,394,973 directly to Louisiana residents via payouts from Louisiana’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The LWC will continue to process claims, and work with the federal government to get money directly to Louisiana residents as quickly as possible.”
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
Among Louisiana’s MSAs in March 2020, seasonally adjusted data shows:
• Alexandria lost 500 jobs from March 2019 and 100 jobs from February 2020.
• Baton Rouge lost 1,100 jobs from March 2019 and 900 jobs from February 2020.
• Hammond remained unchanged from March 2019, but lost 100 jobs from February 2020.
• Houma lost 900 jobs from March 2019 and 900 jobs from February 2020.
• Lafayette lost 1,700 jobs from March 2019 and 500 jobs from February 2020.
• Lake Charles lost 5,800 jobs from March 2019 and 400 jobs from February 2020.
• Monroe lost 1,000 jobs March 2019 and 200 jobs from February 2020.
• New Orleans gained 1,600 jobs from March 2019, but lost 4,700 jobs from February 2020.
• Shreveport lost 1,800 jobs from March 2019 and 700 jobs from February 2020.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Data
Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 2.0 percentage points from 4.1 percent in March 2019 to 6.1 percent in March 2020. From February 2020, Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 1.8 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 55,320 from 2,082,795 in March 2019 to 2,138,115 in March 2020. From February 2020, Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force increased by 41,537.
The number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 11,283 from 1,997,167 in March 2019 to 2,008,450 in March 2020. From February 2020, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 1,587.
March metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be released on March 24, 2020. 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 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.
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.
All data published from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is preliminary and is subject to revision on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Revised numbers for previous months are available from the BLS databases located on bls.gov. The revised numbers are available upon release of new data.
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 http://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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