News - Details
Date:December 22, 2017
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment rate declines for seventh consecutive month

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s November seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.7 percent. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now decreased for seven consecutive months. This is the lowest the unemployment rate has been all year, and May 2008 was the last time it was below 4.7 percent.

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment added 8,900 jobs from November 2016 according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor & Statistics. This marks the seventh consecutive month that total nonfarm jobs have posted over-the-year gains. Private-sector employment grew by 13,300 jobs from November 2016. This is the eighth consecutive month the private sector has posted over-the-year gains.

“While more work remains in growing Louisiana’s employment opportunities, it is clear that our job market has progressed significantly when compared to last year’s numbers,” said Ava Dejoie, Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “Going forward, our agency will continue doing our part to assist job seekers in finding sustainable employment.”

The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals grew by 13,604 to 2,000,413 from October 2017. From the same time last year, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 24,612. Seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased to 98,184 from October 2017. Since November 2016, the number of unemployed individuals has decreased by 28,657. This is the lowest number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals for the year, and the lowest level since June 2008. The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 11,584 to 2,098,597 from October 2017.

The increase in the civilian labor force this month positively affected the labor force participation rate, a measure indicating the share of residents engaged in the labor market. The labor force participation rate increased over the month from 57.9 percent to 58.2 percent.

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs:

• Professional and Business Services gained 2,200 jobs for the month and is up 4,600 jobs for the year.

• Construction gained 900 jobs for the month and is up 8,300 jobs for the year.

• Education & Health Services gained 800 jobs for the month and is up 5,500 jobs for the year.

• Mining and Logging, which includes industries in the oil and gas sector, gained 600 jobs for the month and 200 jobs for the year. The over the year gain ends a streak of 34 straight losses.

Among other seasonally adjusted sectors in November:

• Manufacturing lost 800 jobs for the month, but is up 1,900 jobs for the year.

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

• Alexandria lost 500 jobs from October 2017 and is down 700 jobs from November 2016.

• Baton Rouge gained 600 jobs from October 2017 and is up 6,500 jobs from November 2016. The Baton Rouge MSA has had eleven straight over-the-year increases.

• Houma remained unchanged from October 2017, but is down 1,400 jobs from November 2016.

• Lafayette gained 200 jobs from October 2017 and is up 600 jobs from November 2016.

• Lake Charles lost 300 jobs from October 2017, but is up 4,300 jobs from November 2016. The Lake Charles MSA has had over-the-year increases for 77 consecutive months.

• Monroe lost 600 jobs from October 2017, but is up 200 jobs from November 2016. The Monroe MSA has had 14 straight over-the-year increases.

• New Orleans lost 2,500 jobs from October 2017 and is down 4,600 jobs from November 2016.

• Shreveport lost 400 jobs from October 2017 and is down 2,300 jobs from November 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 October 2017 and is up 600 jobs from November 2016.

Not-seasonally adjusted MSA and individual parish data for November 2017 will be released on January 3, 2018.

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.

Note: This revision date does not reflect the revision date of the press release shown. Press Release postings are updated as needed and should be considered accurate as shown.