News - Details
Date:April 14, 2022
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

March unemployment rate reaches lowest point in 14 years

BATON ROUGE, La. – Preliminary data for March 2022 released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest for the month of March in the history of the series. The March 2022 rate of 4.2 percent is only 0.1 percent higher than the lowest rate for March which occurred in 2008.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate has declined, over the year, for 13 consecutive months. The March 2022 rate declined 1.9 percentage points from the 2021 rate of 6.1 percent, and is also down 0.1 percent from February of this year. More people are getting back to work in Louisiana too with the labor force participation rate growing consistently over the past two years. The labor force participation rate, which measures people ages 16 - 64 working or looking for work, stands at 58.6 percent and is the highest since March 2020.

“These positive signs are good news for Louisiana’s workforce and for the state as a whole,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates. “Louisianians are working in record numbers, what’s more, the increase in the labor force participation rate is an indication that more people are also looking for work. Covid recovery and infrastructure investments are paying dividends for workers and those entering or reentering the workforce.”

Since February 2022, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 12,978 from 1,988,953 to 2,001,931 in March 2022. When compared to March 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 66,294. The March 2022 figure shows the highest level of seasonally adjusted employed individuals since the December 2019 figure of 2,005,055.

Since February 2022, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 1,475 from 89,275 to 87,800 in March 2022. When compared to March 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 38,642.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment for March 2022 is 1,905,100 jobs, a decline of 100 jobs from the February 2022 revised estimate of 1,905,200 jobs. When compared to March 2021, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased by 46,000 jobs. This shows an over-the-year gain for 12 consecutive months.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted private sector employment for March 2022 is 1,596,800 jobs, an increase of 400 jobs from the February 2022 revised estimate of 1,596,400 jobs. When compared to March 2021, seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 51,200 jobs. This shows an over-the-year gain for 12 consecutive months.

As of the week ending Mar. 12, there are over 23,000 jobs available in Louisiana through https://www.louisianaworks.net/hire. LWC’s Hope Central Career Planning & Recovery System, powered by Kuder® offers free training sessions to help you develop the skills you need to get back to work or pursue a new career. Find a webinar to attend here.

Major industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs over the month:

• Construction gained 1,700 jobs from February 2022.

• Professional and Business Services gained 1,300 jobs from February 2022.

• Mining and Logging gained 400 jobs from February 2022.

Major industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs over the year:

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 15,400 jobs from March 2021.

• Professional and Business Services gained 11,200 jobs from March 2021.

• Construction gained 9,500 jobs from March 2021.

Among Louisiana’s MSAs in March 2022, seasonally adjusted data shows:

• Alexandria (62,200 jobs) declined by 100 jobs from February 2022, but gained 1,400 jobs from March 2021.

• Baton Rouge (398,700 jobs) declined by 500 jobs from February 2022, but gained 9,500 jobs from March 2021.

• Hammond (46,700 jobs) showed no change from February 2022, but gained 300 jobs from March 2021.

• Houma (80,400 jobs) declined by 100 jobs from February 2022 and lost 2,500 jobs from March 2021.

• Lafayette (199,100 jobs) declined by 400 jobs from February 2022, but gained 3,900 jobs from March 2021.

• Lake Charles (101,700 jobs) added 600 jobs from February 2022 and gained 7,200 jobs from March 2021.

• Monroe (75,600 jobs) declined by 400 jobs from February 2022, but gained 600 jobs from March 2021.

• New Orleans (551,300 jobs) added 800 jobs from February 2022 and gained 14,800 jobs from March 2021.

• Shreveport (174,700 jobs) added 300 jobs from February 2022 and gained 5,100 jobs from March 2021.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment for March 2022 is 1,904,200, an increase of 2,300 jobs from the February 2022 revised estimate of 1,901,900. When compared to March 2021, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 46,900 jobs. The March 2022 employment figure shows 12 consecutive over-the-year gains.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted total private employment for March 2022 is 1,593,300, an increase of 3,000 jobs from the February 2022 revised estimate of 1,590,300. When compared to March 2021, not seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 52,400 jobs. The March 2022 employment figure shows 12 consecutive over-the-year gains.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2022 is 3.8 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from the revised February 2022 not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. The rate also shows a decrease of 1.8 percentage points from the March 2021 rate of 5.6 percent. The March 2022 figure is tied with 2006 and 2007 for the lowest unemployment rate in the series for the month of March.

Since February 2022, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 17,477 from 1,998,882 to 2,016,359 in March 2022. When compared to March 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 83,099.

Since February 2022, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals increased by 607 from 80,060 to 80,667 in March 2022. When compared to March 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 33,245.

March 2022 metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be released on April 22, 2022.

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.

Note: This revision date does not reflect the revision date of the press release shown. Press Release postings are updated as needed and should be considered accurate as shown.