BATON ROUGE – Data released last Friday by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows that not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 22,800 jobs from April 2017. This is the seventh straight over-the-year increase. From March 2018, the number of nonfarm jobs increased by 17,800 to 1,997,100.
Not seasonally adjusted data shows that private sector employment increased by 26,100 jobs from April 2017. Not seasonally adjusted private sector employment has also added jobs over the year for the seventh straight month. From March 2018, the not seasonally adjusted private sector increased by 15,900 jobs to 1,668,200.
Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, compared to last year, has decreased by 0.7 percentage points from April 2017. From March 2018, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.3 percent.
From April 2017, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 45,184. This over the year increase marks the 11th consecutive time this has occurred. From March 2018, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 4,026 to 2,048,885. Not seasonally adjusted employment has had three straight over-the-month gains. This is the highest level of employed individuals for the month of April, and this is the third highest employment level in series history.
The number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 13,811 from April 2017. From March 2018, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 456 to 92,204.
The not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 31,373 from April 2017. There have been six straight over-the-year increases. From March 2018, the not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force increased by 3,570 to 2,141,089. This makes four straight over the month gains.
“Louisiana’s economy is adding jobs at an unprecedented rate as we continue to see job gains and improvement across a variety of sectors,” said Ava Dejoie, Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “More than 47,000 people are now employed when compared to April of last year. What Governor John Bel Edwards and his administration have accomplished is working, and the people, businesses and communities of our state are reaping the benefits.”
All nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) declined over the year. Not seasonally adjusted April unemployment rates for the nine MSAs are as follows:
• Alexandria: 4.6 percent, down from 4.7 percent in March and down from 5.6 percent from April 2017.
• Baton Rouge: 3.8 percent, unchanged from 3.8 percent in March, but down from 4.4 percent from April 2017.
• Hammond: 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent in March, but down from 5.5 percent from April 2017.
• Houma: 4.5 percent, up from 4.4 percent in March, but down from 5.6 percent from April 2017.
• Lafayette: 4.5 percent, down from 4.6 percent in March and down from 5.6 percent from April 2017.
• Lake Charles: 3.3 percent, unchanged from 3.3 percent in March, but down from 3.8 percent from April 2017.
• Monroe: 4.6 percent, down from 4.7 percent in March and down from 5.2 percent from April 2017.
• New Orleans: 4.0 percent, unchanged from 4.0 percent in March, but down from 4.6 percent from April 2017.
• Shreveport: 4.6 percent, down from 4.7 percent March and down from 5.4 percent from April 2017.
Seasonally Adjusted vs. Not-Seasonally Adjusted Data
Jobs and employment trends data are often difficult to understand because there are two different ways to look at the data, seasonally or non-seasonally adjusted data.
Seasonal adjustment works to measure and remove the influences of predictable seasonal patterns to reveal how employment and unemployment figures change from month to month. Not seasonally adjusted data retains seasonal employment trends.
Over the course of a year, the labor force size, available jobs and employment rates undergo predictable fluctuations due to seasonal changes in weather, harvests, major holidays, and school schedules. Seasonal adjustment reduces the impact of these changes, making it easier to understand trends. Seasonally adjusted data is best utilized when comparing several months of employment and jobs data, while not seasonally adjusted data is best used to compare over-the-year trends. Seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparisons among states and the nation.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission primarily uses seasonally adjusted data because it provides a more useful and telling picture of Louisiana’s jobs and employment situation.
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 Data Trends. 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.
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 http://www.laworks.net/Stars/. Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at www.laworks.net. 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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