News - Details
Date:November 20, 2019
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Baton Rouge metro area sets new employment record for second month in a row

BATON ROUGE – Preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows that the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical area (MSA) set a new record high for employment at 414,100 jobs, topping its previous employment record set in September 2019.

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs increased by 3,600 jobs from 1,987,000 in October 2018, to 1,990,600 in October 2019. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has added jobs over the year in 20 of the last 23 months. Over that same time period, seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 5,500 jobs to 1,664,700. Seasonally adjusted private sector employment has added jobs over the year for 20 straight months.

“The increase of 3,600 jobs from this time last year is a sign that the state is moving in a steady and positive direction,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Secretary Ava Dejoie. “Moving forward, the LWC will remain steadfast in its commitment to generate positive growth and continue to return job-seekers waterto the workforce.”

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.4 percentage points from 4.9 percent in October 2018 to 4.5 percent in October 2019. This is the seventh straight month that Louisiana has maintained full employment status. When comparing October 2019 seasonally adjusted data to previous years, the seasonally adjusted rate of 4.5 percent is the third lowest rate on record for the month of October dating back to 1976.

The number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 8,104 from 102,277 in October 2018, to 94,173 in October 2019. The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 4,740 from 1,996,603 in October 2018, to 2,001,343 in October 2019. The total number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals is the fourth highest on record for the month of October.

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs:

• Professional and Business Services gained 3,200 jobs from October 2018 and 600 jobs from September 2019.

- The Professional and Business Services Sector is at record employment at 216,800 jobs.

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 800 jobs from October 2018 and 1,300 jobs from September 2019.

• Other Services, which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair services, gained 1,300 jobs from October 2018, but remained unchanged from September 2019.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)

Among Louisiana’s MSAs, seasonally adjusted data shows:

• Alexandria lost 300 jobs from October 2018 and 200 jobs from September 2019.

• Baton Rouge gained 4,500 jobs from October 2018 and 500 jobs from September 2019. The Baton Rouge MSA is at record employment at 414,100 jobs.

• Hammond gained 900 jobs from October 2018 and 400 jobs from September 2019. The Hammond MSA is at record employment at 46,500 jobs.

• Houma lost 1,700 jobs from October 2018, but remained unchanged from September 2019.

• Lafayette gained 1,600 jobs from October 2018 and 100 jobs from September 2019.

• Lake Charles gained 200 jobs from October 2018, but lost 500 jobs from September 2019.

• Monroe lost 800 jobs from October 2018 and 600 jobs from September 2019.

• New Orleans gained 8,600 jobs from October 2018, but lost 500 jobs from September 2019.

• Shreveport lost 1,600 jobs from October 2018, but gained 300 jobs from September 2019.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment gained 4,100 jobs from 1,998,200 in October 2018 to 2,002,300 in October 2019. From September 2019, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 12,400 jobs.

Not seasonally adjusted private sector employment gained 5,900 jobs from 1,666,100 in October 2018 to 1,672,000 in October 2019.

The not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 7,473 from 2,095,218 in September 2019 to 2,102,691 in October 2019.

The number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 3,584 from 2,000,060 in September 2019 to 2,003,644 in October 2019.

October metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be released on November 25, 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 not 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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