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Date:June 27, 2014
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Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improves over the year

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May improved over the year in all eight metro areas and all but one parish, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today.

The state rate was 5.3 percent in May, not seasonally adjusted data show, down from 6.3 percent over the year but up one point from April. The monthly increase coincided with the start of summer when many youths finish school and start looking for work. Nationally, the rate in May was 6.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent a year earlier.

Rates improved in 63 parishes—Vernon Parish’s May rate was the same as a year earlier.

The civilian labor force, defined as the number of employed plus those looking for work, was 2,111,407 in May, an increase of 2,072 over the year. There were 1,999,817 people employed in Louisiana in May, 23,560 more than a year earlier. There were 111,590 unemployed in May, 21,488 fewer than a year earlier.

“Our civilian labor force is growing and our state is sustaining and building on improvements we’ve been reporting for many months,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in May improved over the year in all eight metro areas as follows:

Alexandria: 5.5 percent, down from 6.4 percent in May 2013;

Baton Rouge: 5.0 percent, down from 6.1 percent;

Houma: 3.7 percent, down from 4.5 percent;

Lafayette: 4.2 percent, down from 4.8 percent;

Lake Charles: 4.7 percent, down from 5.9 percent;

Monroe: 5.7 percent, down from 6.7 percent;

New Orleans: 5.3 percent, down from 6.3 percent;

Shreveport: 5.7 percent, down from 6.8 percent.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics uses a separate survey of approximately 6,000 employers statewide and across industries to estimate nonfarm employment. Not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment climbed to 1,975,000 in May, an increase of 20,400 over the year and 8,300 more than in April 2014.

Private sector employers added 26,600 jobs during the 12 months ending in May, and added 8,600 jobs from the previous month.

Leisure and hospitality added 7,900 jobs since last May, which led all industries, not seasonally adjusted data show. Professional and business services was next, adding 7,100 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities rounded out the top three, adding 5,500 jobs over the year.

Government had the biggest over-the-year decline with 6,200 fewer federal, state and local government jobs. The only other sectors that lost jobs were information, down 3,300 jobs, and mining and logging, which lost 700 jobs over the year.

Total nonfarm employment rose over the year in all eight metro areas. New Orleans added 10,400 jobs, Baton Rouge added 9,800, Lake Charles added 3,800, Lafayette added 2,400, Houma added 2,000, Monroe added 1,000, Shreveport added 300 and Alexandria added 100 jobs over the year.

Not seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas, and for comparing them to the state. Seasonally adjusted data, on the other hand, are useful for comparisons among states and the nation.

Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at and create a HiRE account, which will provide access to qualified job seekers. Individuals looking for jobs in high-value careers should use Louisiana Star Jobs, the LWC’s free career exploration and job search tool, at A mobile version of Louisiana Star Jobs is also available at

To view all available employment data, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select Monthly Employment Bulletin – Workforce At A Glance or Monthly Employment Statistics Press Release for the latest monthly nonfarm and labor force data.

To view the BLS nonfarm estimates for the state, click here:

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