News - Details
Date:October 20, 2017
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment rate declines for fifth consecutive month

BATON ROUGE – September’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 percent. This figure is down 0.1 percentage points from August. This is the fifth consecutive month the unemployment rate has declined. The last time the unemployment rate was 5.1 percent was August 2008.

The state’s nonfarm and private-sector job sectors have posted over-the-year gains according to seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor & Statistics (BLS). Over the past 12-month period, Louisiana added 14,700 nonfarm jobs, bringing the total to 1,980,400, according to the seasonally adjusted survey of 7,000 Louisiana employers. Nonfarm jobs have posted over-the-year gains for five consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted private employment rose by 20,600 jobs over the same time period. The private-sector has added jobs over-the-year for six consecutive months.

The state’s civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, grew by 1,095 over the month to 2,083,447.

The number of employed individuals grew by 2,740 to 1,977,618. The number of unemployed individuals decreased to 105,829, which represents the lowest amount since July 2008. This marks the fifth straight month of decline in the number of unemployed individuals month to month.

“We are encouraged by the sustained improvement in the state’s unemployment rate, based on over-the-year figures,” said Ava Dejoie, Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director. “Going forward, we will remain steadfast in our efforts to generate positive growth in Louisiana’s labor force by returning residents to the workplace.”

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs:

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 900 jobs for the month and is up 6,800 jobs for the year. Employment throughout this sector continues its all-time series high.

• Construction gained 200 jobs for the month and is up 14,700 jobs for the year.

• Other Services, which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair and services, gained 1,000 jobs for the month and is up 2,600 jobs for the year. The Other Services employment sector is at a series-high.

Among other seasonally adjusted sectors in September:

• Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 900 jobs for the month, but is down 5,300 jobs for the year.

• Mining and Logging, which includes industries in the oil and gas sector, lost 100 jobs for the month and is down 600 jobs for the year.

Among Louisiana’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), remaining seasonally adjusted data shows:

• Alexandria lost 100 jobs from August 2017 and is down 600 jobs from September 2016.

• Baton Rouge gained 1,100 jobs from August 2017 and is up 3,900 jobs from September 2016. The Baton Rouge MSA has had nine straight over-the-year increases.

• Houma lost 800 jobs from August 2017 and is down 1,600 jobs from September 2016.

• Lafayette lost 400 jobs from August 2017 and is down 800 jobs from September 2016.

• Lake Charles gained 300 jobs from August 2017 and is up 5,500 jobs from September 2016. The Lake Charles MSA has had over-the-year increases for 75 consecutive months.

• Monroe lost 400 jobs from August 2017, but is up 1,000 jobs from September 2016. The Monroe MSA has had 12 straight over-the-year increases.

• New Orleans lost 500 jobs from August 2017 and is down 800 jobs from September 2016.

• Shreveport gained 1,100 jobs from August 2017, but is down 1,700 jobs from September 2016.

The BLS does not report seasonally adjusted data for Hammond, due to the fact that it is a recently designated MSA, and has not yet had time to acquire seasonally adjusted data for the area.

• Hammond gained 100 jobs from August 2017 and is up 100 jobs from September 2016.

Not-seasonally adjusted MSA and individual parish data for September 2017 will be released on October 27, 2017.

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.

To view all available employment data, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at 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 For BLS nonfarm employment data, click here:

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 Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at 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.

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