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Date:October 22, 2021
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana unemployment numbers show highs and lows after Hurricane Ida

BATON ROUGE, La. – Preliminary data for September 2021 released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows Hurricane Ida’s impact on the state’s employment situation. The September 2021 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm estimate of 1,818,000 jobs shows a loss of 29,600 jobs from the August 2021 revised figure of 1,847,600 jobs. The estimate shows a gain of 14,700 jobs from the September 2020 figure of 1,803,300.

Since September 2020, Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 19,400 jobs from 1,487,300 to 1,506,700 in September 2021. When compared to August 2021, seasonally adjusted private sector employment decreased by 25,600 jobs.

Since September 2020, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 14,025 from 1,927,988 to 1,942,013 in September 2021. When compared to August 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 4,447.

Since September 2020, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 46,864 from 167,013 to 120,149 in September 2021. When compared to August 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 8,171.

The September 2021 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.8 percent shows a decline both over the month and over the year. The rate dropped 2.2 percentage points from the September 2020 rate of 8.0 percent and dropped 0.4 percentage points from the August 2021 rate of 6.2 percent.

“We knew Hurricane Ida would take a toll on jobs in the state and these numbers bare that out,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates. “The toll this storm took on South Louisiana will be felt for some time. Slowly but surely people are headed back to work but that always takes time.”

For comparison, when Hurricane Laura made landfall in Lake Charles in August 2020, employment fell from 92,290 in August to 84,025 in September, and the unemployment rate spiked from 8.6 percent to 12.6 percent. It took about three months for the unemployment rate to return to pre-Laura level and 10 months for employment to recover.

More than 41,000 people filed unemployment claims from when Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana through the end of September. However, generally speaking, in the aftermath of any storm, there is an uptick in recovery-related jobs.

As of September 25, there are 28,669 jobs available in Louisiana through https://www.louisianaworks.net/hire. Displaced workers who are interested in applying for disaster relief job opportunities can begin the application process here or on https://www.laworks.net/. A staff person will then reach out to verify eligibility. To be considered for disaster relief job opportunities, you must have a HiRE account which can be created here.

Job seekers can also explore careers and top-rated jobs at https://www.laworks.net/stars/.

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

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 12,500 jobs from September 2020.

• Professional and Business Services gained 7,200 jobs from September 2020.

• Education and Health Services gained 4,900 jobs from September 2020.

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

• Alexandria (60,200 jobs) showed no change from August 2021, but gained 800 jobs from September 2020.

• Baton Rouge (385,600 jobs) lost 1,500 jobs from August 2021, but gained 2,000 jobs from September 2020.

• Hammond (45,800 jobs) lost 400 jobs from August 2021, but gained 100 jobs from September 2020.

• Houma (78,400 jobs) lost 3,800 jobs from August 2021 and lost 2,000 jobs from September 2020.

• Lafayette (190,900 jobs) lost 1,600 jobs from August 2021, but gained 3,000 jobs from September 2020.

• Lake Charles (93,700 jobs) added 400 jobs from August 2021 and gained 9,100 jobs from September 2020.

• Monroe (74,400 jobs) added 200 jobs from August 2021 and gained 200 jobs from September 2020.

• New Orleans (509,800 jobs) lost 22,700 jobs from August 2021 and lost 9,500 jobs from September 2020.

• Shreveport (167,900 jobs) lost 1,000 jobs from August 2021, but gained 1,200 jobs from September 2020.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Since September 2020, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 17,700 jobs from 1,797,700 to 1,815,600 in September 2021. When compared to August 2021, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 25,000 jobs, a figure attributable to Hurricane Ida.

Since September 2020, not seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 22,500 jobs from 1,481,800 to 1,504,300 in September 2021. When compared to August 2021, not seasonally adjusted private sector employment decreased by 30,400 jobs.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September 2021 is 4.9 percent, a decrease of 3.3 percentage points from the September 2020 not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. The rate also shows a decrease of 0.6 percentage points from the August 2021 rate of 5.5 percent.

Since September 2020, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 31,459 from 1,919,425 to 1,950,884 in September 2021. When compared to August 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 3,822.

Since September 2020, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 69,351 from 170,842 to 101,491 in September 2021. When compared to August 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 11,892.

September metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be released on October 29, 2021. The 2021 state and MSA data release 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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