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Date:March 16, 2022
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana unemployment at its lowest since June 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. – Preliminary data for January 2022 released Monday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is at its lowest point since June 2019. The 4.3 percent figure dropped 0.1 percentage points from the benchmarked December 2021 rate of 4.4 percent and dropped 2.2 percentage points from the January 2021 rate of 6.5 percent. The rate has declined from the previous month in 20 of the last 21 months and declined over the year for 11 straight months.

Preliminary data for January 2022 also shows that seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 3,600 jobs from December 2021 to 1,900,000 and gained 50,400 jobs from January 2021. The state has added 190,500 jobs from the COVID-19 employment low point of 1,709,500 jobs in April 2020.

The figures in today’s release reflect data revisions made in the annual benchmark process. Benchmarking is the BLS’s adjustment procedure to prior years’ data which impacts every state with the publication of January data. During this procedure, survey data used to prepare monthly reports on nonfarm employment, the labor force, and unemployment rates is replaced by the actual employment data contained in the quarterly wage and tax reports filed by Louisiana employers. The two data sets that undergo benchmarking are the Current Employment Statistics (CES) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) programs.

The LAUS program revises, at a minimum, five years of previous data to incorporate new inputs and population data. This year, LAUS data was revised from 2017-2021. At the state level, LAUS receives new population controls from the Census Bureau as well as updated CES and Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims inputs.

With the new benchmarked figures, Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted private sector employment figure rose by 2,000 jobs from December 2021 to 1,589,100. Private sector employment increased from January 2021 by 54,100 jobs. This is the highest employment level in the series since March 2020.

From December 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 8,023 from 1,971,316 to 1,979,339 in January 2022. From January 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 58,420 people.

From December 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 1,432 from 91,256 to 89,824 in January 2022. When compared to January 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 43,935.

The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people employed or looking for work, is 2,069,163 for January 2022. This shows an increase of 6,591 individuals from December 2021. The series also increased by 14,485 individuals from the January 2021 figure of 2,054,678.

“Louisiana’s workforce has come a long way since the pandemic started, and it’s promising to see so many people getting back to work,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates.

State data for the month of February will be released on March 25, 2022. For additional state and MSA data release dates, please click here.

Among Louisiana’s MSAs in January 2022, seasonally adjusted data shows:

• Alexandria (61,800 jobs) lost 100 jobs from December 2021, but gained 900 jobs from January 2021.

• Baton Rouge (399,200 jobs) lost 2,300 jobs from December 2021, but gained 10,600 jobs from January 2021.

• Hammond (46,500 jobs) added 300 jobs from December 2021 and gained 500 jobs from January 2021.

• Houma (79,500 jobs) added 500 jobs from December 2021, but lost 2,500 jobs from January 2021.

• Lafayette (198,700 jobs) lost 200 jobs from December 2021, but gained 4,700 jobs from January 2021.

• Lake Charles (100,200 jobs) lost 400 jobs from December 2021, but gained 6,900 jobs from January 2021.

• Monroe (75,400 jobs) lost 200 jobs from December 2021, but gained 500 jobs from January 2021.

• New Orleans (546,400 jobs) added 1,600 jobs from December 2021 and gained 13,000 jobs from January 2021.

• Shreveport (174,100 jobs) added 300 jobs from December 2021 and gained 4,900 jobs from January 2021.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Since December 2021, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 25,700 jobs from 1,910,500 to 1,884,800 in January 2022. The average over-the-month change in January from 1990-2022 is a loss of 34,200 jobs. When compared to January 2021, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 49,200 jobs.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted private sector employment figure fell by 23,300 jobs from December 2021 to 1,574,200 in January 2022. Private sector employment increased from January 2021 by 52,800 jobs.

Industries that showed the largest declines for not seasonally adjusted jobs from December 2021:

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 8,100 jobs from December 2021.

Construction lost 6,000 jobs from December 2021.

Education and Health Services lost 2,800 jobs from December 2021.

Industries that showed the largest gains for not seasonally adjusted jobs from January 2021:

Leisure and Hospitality gained 19,800 jobs from January 2021.

Professional and Business Services gained 13,300 jobs from January 2021.

Construction gained 8,300 jobs from January 2021.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2022 is 4.3 percent, an increase of 0.7 percentage points from the December 2021 benchmarked not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. The rate decreased 2.2 percentage points from the January 2021 rate of 6.5 percent.

Since December 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals decreased by 15,947 from 1,988,128 to 1,972,181 in January 2022. When compared to January 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 80,969.

Since December 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals increased by 14,550 from 73,584 to 88,134 in January 2022. When compared to January 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 43,914.

Not seasonally adjusted January 2022 unemployment rates for Louisiana’s nine MSAs are as follows:

• Alexandria: 3.1 percent, up from 2.6 percent in December 2021, but down from 4.9 percent in January 2021.

• Baton Rouge: 3.8 percent, up from 3.1 percent in December 2021, but down from 5.8 percent in January 2021.

• Hammond: 5.2 percent, up from 4.4 percent in December 2021, but down from 7.6 percent in January 2021.

• Houma: 4.2 percent, up from 3.6 percent in December 2021, but down from 6.0 percent in January 2021.

• Lafayette: 3.8 percent, up from 3.2 percent in December 2021, but down from 6.2 percent in January 2021.

• Lake Charles: 4.2 percent, up from 3.5 percent in December 2021, but down from 7.2 percent in January 2021.

• Monroe: 3.9 percent, up from 3.2 percent in December 2021, but down from 6.0 percent in January 2021.

• New Orleans: 4.9 percent, up from 4.2 percent in December 2021, but down from 7.3 percent in January 2021.

• Shreveport: 4.2 percent, up from 3.5 percent in December 2021, but down from 6.3 percent in January 2021.

MSA data for the month of February will be released on April 1, 2022.

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.

Data Considerations

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.

Note: This revision date does not reflect the revision date of the press release shown. Press Release postings are updated as needed and should be considered accurate as shown.