News
Date:May 21, 2021
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Nonfarm employment shows signs of recovery one year after COVID-19 Pandemic began

BATON ROUGE – Preliminary data for April 2021 released today by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) shows that Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment figure was estimated to be 1,837,000 jobs. On the one year anniversary of the lowest employment level of the pandemic, the data shows a gain of 127,400 jobs from the April 2020 estimate of 1,709,600 jobs. The data also shows a gain of 1,700 jobs from the March 2021 figure of 1,835,300.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2021 is 7.3 percent, a drop of 5.8 percentage points from the April 2020 figure of 13.1 percent. The April 2021 figure also fell by 0.1 percentage points from the March 2021 revised figure of 7.4 percent.

The April 2021 seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people employed or looking for work, is 2,070,417, an increase of 28,750 from the April 2020 figure of 2,041,667. The series is down 3,885 individuals from the March 2021 figure of 2,074,302.

Since April 2020, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 146,521 from 1,773,471 to 1,919,992 in April 2021. When compared to March 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals decreased by 1,780.

Since April 2020, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 117,771 from 268,196 to 150,425 in April 2021. When compared to March 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 2,105.

Seasonally adjusted total private employment rose by 131,000 jobs from the April 2020 figure of 1,392,900 to 1,523,900. Total private employment has added 1,600 jobs from the March 2021 figure of 1,522,300.

“After a difficult year for Louisiana’s workforce and economy, we are finally turning a corner,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Secretary Ava Dejoie. “The recovery is ongoing, but we will not stop fighting to get Louisianians back to work in jobs that can support their families.”

As Louisiana’s economy continues to show signs of improvement, LWC is focused on getting people back to work. Right now there are over 20,000 jobs listed on the HiRE site, which allows individuals to file for Unemployment benefits and search for available jobs in their area. Additionally, LWC is hosting a weeklong series of virtual job fairs from May 24th-28th dubbed “Workforce Week” where jobseekers will have the opportunity to meet with over 100 of the state’s top employers. Individuals can register here and attend any day.

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs from April 2020:

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 62,400 jobs from April 2020.

• Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 27,300 jobs from April 2020.

• Education and Health Services gained 19,400 jobs from April 2020.

• Other Services gained 12,700 jobs from April 2020.

Among Louisiana’s MSAs in April 2021, seasonally adjusted data shows:

• Alexandria (60,000 jobs) showed no change from March 2021, but gained 4,100 jobs from April 2020.

• Baton Rouge (386,200 jobs) lost 1,700 jobs from March 2021, but gained 33,300 jobs from April 2020.

• Hammond (45,400 jobs) lost 100 jobs from March 2021, but gained 4,000 jobs from April 2020.

• Houma (82,000 jobs) lost 100 jobs from March 2021, but gained 3,600 jobs from April 2020.

• Lafayette (189,900 jobs) lost 500 jobs from March 2021, but gained 8,200 jobs from April 2020.

• Lake Charles (91,800 jobs) lost 400 jobs from March 2021 and lost 2,800 jobs from April 2020.

• Monroe (74,000 jobs) gained 200 jobs from March 2021 and gained 5,500 jobs from April 2020.

• New Orleans (524,400 jobs) gained 1,200 jobs from March 2021 and gained 43,500 jobs from April 2020.

• Shreveport (167,800 jobs) gained 900 jobs from March 2021 and gained 10,800 jobs from April 2020.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Since April 2020, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 123,000 jobs from 1,715,700 to 1,838,700 in April 2021. When compared to March 2021, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 6,800 jobs.

Since April 2020, not seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 127,400 jobs from 1,395,000 to 1,522,400 in April 2021. When compared to March 2021, not seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 6,200 jobs.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2021 is 6.6 percent, a decrease of 6.1 percentage points from the April 2020 not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 12.7 percent. The 6.6 percent figure is the lowest since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and shows no change from the March 2021 figure.

Since April 2020, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 149,937 from 1,774,424 to 1,924,631 in April 2021. When compared to March 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 979.

Since April 2020, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 123,215 from 259,225 to 136,010 in April 2021. When compared to March 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals increased by 38 individuals.

March metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be released on May 28, 2021. The 2021 state and MSA data release dates schedule is now available, to view 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.

Data Considerations

All data published from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is preliminary and is subject to revision on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Revised numbers for previous months are available from the BLS databases located on bls.gov. The revised numbers are available upon release of new data.

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 http://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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