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BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s private sector employers continued adding jobs and setting state employment records in August, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today in seasonally adjusted data.
Total nonfarm employment grew by 30,100 from a year ago to 1,983,200, breaking a month-old Louisiana record. Private employers added 36,400 jobs over the year, a growth rate of 2.3 percent to 1,649,300 in August, also a record, according to a BLS survey of more than 6,000 Louisiana employers across industries and throughout the state. Private employers have added jobs over the year in Louisiana for 47 months running.
“Louisiana’s private sector employers are operating full-steam-ahead,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “They’re adding jobs throughout the state and in sectors which will drive additional job growth.”
The construction sector, for example, added the most jobs over the year with 9,500. Professional and business services was next, adding 8,000 jobs over the year, followed by leisure and hospitality with 7,400, and education and health services, which added 7,000 jobs.
Among the sectors that lost jobs over the year, government had the biggest decline with 6,300, to 333,900 in August. The decline included the loss of 4,000 state jobs and 2,100 local government jobs.
Four private industry sectors lost jobs over the year: information declined by 2,200; other services—which includes jobs in industries such as the repair and maintenance subsector and personal and laundry services subsector—lost 1,200 jobs; mining and logging lost 400 jobs; and financial activities lost 300 jobs.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in August, a 0.4 percentage point improvement from a year earlier. The national seasonally adjusted rate in August was 6.1 percent, 1.1 percentage points better than a year earlier. The southern regional average rate in August was 6.3 percent, where Louisiana ranked fourth among the 17 states.
The BLS uses a separate survey of 750 Louisiana households to estimate unemployment rates and information about the civilian labor force.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force—the number of people employed plus those looking for work—rose by 29,703 over the year, which set a new record of 2,129,143. The number of people employed in the civilian labor force climbed 37,010 over the year to 2,005,827. The number of unemployed in August was 123,316, an improvement of 7,307 over the year.
LWC data shows the number of new and continued claims for unemployment benefits declined in August from July, indicating the rise in the unemployment rate for August over July was primarily due to more people entering the workforce looking for work but not yet hired. The civilian labor force rose by 15,112 in August from July, which included the addition of 5,632 employed and 9,480 unemployed individuals.
“The state experienced 39 consecutive months of over-the-year declines in the unemployment rate through August,” Eysink said. “With our continued and robust trend of job creation, confidence is attracting more people to the workforce so a short-term rise in the unemployment rate is not unexpected.”
The LWC will release not seasonally adjusted data for the state’s eight metropolitan areas and parishes on Sept. 26.
Job seekers can explore careers, apply for the highest rated jobs and connect with local training providers on the LWC’s free career tool, Louisiana Star Jobs, at www.laworks.net/Stars. A mobile version is also available at m.laworks.net.
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-hand menu. Then select LOIS (Louisiana Occupational Information System) and select Employment and Wage Data listed under Historical Data Analysis.
To view the BLS nonfarm estimates for the state, click here: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=la.
Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at www.laworks.net 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 www.laworks.net/stars.
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