BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s overall labor force and the number of people employed in the labor force set records for the third month in a row in May, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state’s private and nonfarm employment also continued to grow 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 2,215,112, an increase of 4,435 over the month and 78,414 over the year. The number of people employed in the civilian labor force grew to a record 2,069,368, seasonally adjusted data from a BLS survey of 750 households show.
The number of people looking for work decreased slightly over the month to 145,744, which is 19,635 more than a year earlier. The national unemployment rate ticked up to 5.5 percent while the 17-state Southern regional average rate in May was 5.4 percent.
“These numbers show the growth trend Louisiana has been experiencing for the past few years is continuing,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
A separate BLS survey of 7,000 employers found that private employers added 5,000 jobs over the month and 17,700 jobs over the year, making May the 56th consecutive month with an over-the-year increase.
The survey also shows that nonfarm employment increased by 3,900 over the month and 11,800 over the year to 1,989,800, setting last month as the highest May on record.
Education and health services had the largest over-the-month increase with 2,200 new jobs in May. Manufacturing added 2,100 jobs, leisure and hospitality added 2,000 jobs, and information grew by 1,100 new jobs.
The construction sector lost the most jobs over the month with a decline of 2,400 jobs in May. Government lost 1,100 jobs and mining and logging lost 600 jobs over the month and 5,800 jobs over the year, marking the eighth month of consecutive over-the-month decreases.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission will release not seasonally adjusted data for the nine Metropolitan Statistical Areas on Tuesday, June 30.
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.
Connect with the Louisiana Workforce Commission socially at facebook.com/louisianaworks, twitter.com/louisianaworks and linkedin.com/company/louisiana-workforce-commission.
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