BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s overall labor force and those employed in the labor force continued to increase in April, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state’s private and nonfarm employment grew over the month, while the unemployment rate held at 6.6 percent.
Louisiana’s total civilian labor force, which includes the number of people employed plus those looking for work, grew over the month to a record 2,210,646, an increase of 5,552 over the month and 83,455 over the year. The number of people employed in the civilian labor force grew to a record 2,064,799, seasonally adjusted data from a BLS survey of 750 households show.
The number of people looking for work increased slightly over the month to 145,847, which is 25,390 more people than a year earlier. The national unemployment rate decreased to 5.4 percent while the 17-state Southern regional average rate in April was 5.4 percent.
“Louisiana experienced reasonable job growth and a strong labor force growth, even though April is usually a quiet month for the state,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
A separate BLS survey of 7,000 employers found that private employers added 3,100 jobs over the month and 18,200 jobs over the year, making April the 55th consecutive month with an over-the-year increase.
The survey also shows that nonfarm employment increased by 2,800 over the month and 13,100 over the year to 1,985,200, setting last month as the highest April on record.
Professional and business services had the largest over-the-month increase with 1,800 new jobs in April. Trade, transportation, and utilities added 1,500 jobs while construction and information added 1,000 new jobs each.
Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas, declined by 1,100 jobs over the month and 5,000 jobs over the year. Manufacturing lost 700 jobs over the month and the leisure and hospitality industry lost 500 jobs in April.
“We’re continuing to feel the effects of lower oil prices,” said Eysink. “Because of that, we’re also watching the construction industry closely, and construction continues to grow. Work is continuing on industrial expansions and relocations in Louisiana.”
The Louisiana Workforce Commission will release not seasonally adjusted data for the nine Metropolitan Statistical Areas on Tuesday, June 2.
Seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparisons among states and the nation. Not seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas, and for comparing them to the state. In 2015, the BLS will not provide seasonally adjusted data for the Lafayette, Shreveport, or Hammond metro areas because of the significant changes in their parish composition. BLS plans to review those metro areas in 2016 to consider resuming estimates of their seasonally adjusted data.
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.
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.
Job seekers have a new LWC online tool to help with career planning. My Life. My Way. estimates living costs around the state and connects users to occupations that afford their desired way of life. Visit My Life. My Way. at laworks.net/mylife.
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 Historical Data Analysis.
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.
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