BATON ROUGE – Data released today by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) for March 2019 shows that seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Louisiana has increased over the year for the past 13 months. Since March 2018, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 400 jobs. From February 2019, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 3,300 jobs to 1,984,600.
Seasonally adjusted private sector employment for March 2019 shows that Louisiana added 800 jobs from March 2018. This is also the thirteenth consecutive over-the-year increase for seasonally adjusted private sector employment. From February 2019, seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 2,900 jobs to 1,657,200.
“Louisiana’s economy continues to make steady and consistent progress as is evidenced by the past 13 months of over-the-year growth,” said LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “The LWC will continue to do all that it is able to ensure that every individual in search of a family-sustaining career will have that opportunity.”
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 4.9 percent in February 2019, to 4.7 percent in March 2019. This is the tenth month in the row that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has not increased over the month.
The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed individuals decreased by 3,208 from February 2019 to 99,056 in March 2019. Since March 2018, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 2,715.
The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 2,476 from February 2019 to 2,002,913 in March 2019.
Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs for March 2019:
• Leisure and Hospitality gained 4,400 jobs from March 2018 and 3,100 jobs from February 2019. The Leisure and Hospitality sector is at a series high for employment at 240,600.
• Manufacturing gained 2,200 jobs from March 2018 and 600 jobs from February 2019.
• Other Services, which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair services, gained 800 jobs from March 2018, but remained unchanged from February 2019.
• Education and Health Services gained 7,400 jobs from March 2018, but lost 100 jobs from February 2019.
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
Among Louisiana’s MSAs in March 2019, seasonally adjusted data shows:
• Alexandria lost 700 jobs from March 2018, but gained 100 jobs from February 2019.
• Baton Rouge lost 100 jobs from March 2018, but gained 1,100 jobs from February 2019.
• Hammond gained 300 jobs from March 2018 and 100 jobs from February 2019.
• Houma lost 2,100 jobs from March 2018, but remained unchanged from February 2019.
• Lafayette gained 1,900 jobs from March 2018, but lost 200 jobs from February 2019.
• Lake Charles lost 300 jobs from March 2018, but gained 800 jobs from February 2019.
• Monroe remained unchanged from March 2018 and unchanged from February 2019.
• New Orleans gained 6,400 jobs from March 2018 and 100 jobs from February 2019.
• Shreveport lost 1,700 jobs from March 2018 and 300 jobs from February 2019.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Data
Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.5 percentage points in March 2019 from February 2019 to 3.9 percent. Compared to March 2018, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.7 percentage points.
The number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 11,409 from February 2019 to March 2019. From this same time last year, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 16,402 to 80,506. This is the lowest number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals since April 2008.
Not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 14,432 from February 2019 to March 2019. From March 2018, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 2,487 to 2,009,895.
The not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 3,023 to 2,090,401 from February 2019 to March 2019.
March metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be released on April 26, 2019. For additional state and MSA data release dates, please click here.
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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