BATON ROUGE – Data released today by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows that Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.4 percent in May 2019, which places Louisiana in full employment status. The Federal Reserve defines full employment as an unemployment rate between 4.0 percent and 4.6 percent. This is the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate since April 2008. This figure is 0.6 percentage points lower from May 2018's rate of 5.0 percent, and down from April 2019’s rate of 4.5 percent.
From May 2018, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 1,900 to 1,982,800 in May 2019. For May 2019, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has added jobs over the year for the past 15 months in a row.
Since May 2018, seasonally adjusted private sector employment has increased by 3,000 jobs to 1,656,300 in May 2019. Seasonally adjusted private sector employment in May 2019 has also added jobs over-the-year for the past 15 months.
“Louisiana’s unemployment rate is at an eleven year low and the past 15 months of over-the-year gains show that Louisiana’s economy is on the right track and has been for some time,” says Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Secretary Ava Dejoie. “Our work is never finished however, and the LWC will continue to provide all the resources that it is able, to ensure that every job-seeker in the state of Louisiana is provided an equal opportunity at a family-sustaining career.”
The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 4,611 from 2,001,517 in May 2018, to 2,006,128 in May 2019. From April 2019, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 1,206.
The number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 12,907 from 105,087 in May 2018, to 92,180 in May 2019. From April 2019, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 2,571.
Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs in May 2019:
• Manufacturing gained 2,500 jobs from May 2018 and 400 jobs from April 2019.
• Leisure and Hospitality gained 3,900 jobs from May 2018 and 1,600 jobs from April 2019.
• Education and Health Services gained 9,000 jobs from May 2018, but lost 100 jobs from April 2019.
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
Among Louisiana’s MSAs, seasonally adjusted data shows for May 2019:
• Alexandria lost 600 jobs from May 2018 and 300 jobs from April 2019.
• Baton Rouge gained 1,100 jobs from May 2018 and 1,700 jobs from April 2019.
• Hammond gained 200 jobs from May 2018 and 100 jobs from April 2019.
• Houma lost 2,600 jobs from May 2018 and 100 jobs from April 2019.
• Lafayette gained 2,500 jobs from May 2018 and 600 jobs from April 2019.
• Lake Charles gained 1,000 jobs from May 2018 and 100 jobs from April 2019.
• Monroe remained unchanged from May 2018, but gained 100 jobs from April 2019.
• New Orleans gained 6,900 jobs from May 2018, but lost 1,800 jobs from April 2019.
• Shreveport lost 2,700 jobs from May 2018 and 300 jobs from April 2019.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Data
The not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 5,588 to 2,094,045 in May 2019, since April 2019.
The number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals has increased by 3,237 since May 2018 to 2,008,064 in May 2019. The number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals has decreased by 14,154 since May 2018 to 85,981 in May 2019.
The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has decreased 0.7 percentage points since May 2018 to 4.1 percent in May 2019. As it pertains to Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increase from April 2019, on average, Louisiana's not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increases by 0.3 percentage points from April to May each year. This is the lowest not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month of May in series history.
May metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be distributed on June 28, 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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