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News - Details
Date:June 16, 2022
Contact:LWC Public Affairs @ (225) 342-3035

Historic unemployment lows for Louisiana continue

BATON ROUGE, La. – Preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has tied the 2nd lowest rate in series history. The May 2022 SA rate of 4.0 percent hasn’t been seen since December 2007.

“Louisiana continues to see historically low unemployment, and our communities are flourishing with opportunity once again,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates. “We know there are workforce needs to be met, and that’s why we’re focused on building the skills of workers around the state. When the workforce thrives, our whole state thrives.”

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has declined over the year for 15 consecutive months, and has not seen an over-the-month increase since April 2020. Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points from April 2022 and shows a 1.9 percentage point decline from May 2021. The labor force participation rate, which measures people ages 16 - 64 working or looking for work, increased over the month for the sixth consecutive month. The May 2022 rate is 59.0 percent, growing 0.1 percentage points from April 2022 and gaining 1.0 percentage points from May 2021.

The May 2022 seasonally adjusted number of employed is now the sixth highest in series history. The last time the number of employed in Louisiana was this high was in February 2015. The May 2022 estimate is 2,023,858, a gain of 10,229 individuals from April 2022. When compared to May 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 76,607.

“What we know is this is a job seekers’ market, even with record highs in employment,” said Cates. “There are thousands of good opportunities out there, whether you’re looking for your first job or starting a brand new career, the LWC will get you there.”

As of mid-May, there are over 33,000 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.

Individuals looking to gain new skills to level up their careers can also apply for a scholarship to LWC’s Grow with Google program. The scholarships give Louisianians free access to the Google Career Certificates in paths like project management, data analytics, IT support, and even digital marketing and e-commerce. Apply or learn more about Google Career Certificates here.

Since April 2022, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 3,281 from 86,764 to 83,483 in May 2022. When compared to May 2021, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 39,256.

The state’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment for May 2022 is 1,910,400 jobs, a gain of 1,500 jobs from the revised April 2022 estimate of 1,908,900 jobs. When compared to May 2021, seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment increased by 40,600 jobs. This shows a monthly increase in eight consecutive months and an over-the-year gain in 14 consecutive months.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted private sector employment for May 2022 is 1,602,200 jobs, an increase of 1,100 jobs from the April 2022 revised estimate of 1,601,100 jobs. When compared to May 2021, seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 45,900 jobs. This also shows a monthly increase in eight consecutive months, and an over-the-year gain in 14 consecutive months.

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

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 1,700 jobs from April 2022.

• Professional and Business Services gained 900 jobs from April 2022.

• Manufacturing gained 800 jobs from April 2022.

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

• Leisure and Hospitality gained 16,200 jobs from May 2021.

• Professional and Business Services gained 9,200 jobs from May 2021.

• Construction gained 6,300 jobs from May 2021.

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

• Alexandria (62,500 jobs) added 300 jobs from April 2022 and gained 1,700 jobs from May 2021.

• Baton Rouge (400,700 jobs) added 1,600 jobs from April 2022 and gained 9,800 jobs from May 2021.

• Hammond (47,100 jobs) added 200 jobs from April 2022 and gained 600 jobs from May 2021.

• Houma (80,700 jobs) added 200 jobs from April 2022, but lost 2,300 jobs from May 2021.

• Lafayette (201,500 jobs) added 400 jobs from April 2022 and gained 5,900 jobs from May 2021.

• Lake Charles (101,500 jobs) showed no change from April 2022, but gained 5,300 jobs from May 2021.

• Monroe (76,200 jobs) added 400 jobs from April 2022 and gained 1,000 jobs from May 2021.

• New Orleans (551,900 jobs) added 2,700 jobs from April 2022 and gained 11,300 jobs from May 2021.

• Shreveport (175,000 jobs) declined by 300 jobs from April 2022, but gained 5,000 jobs from May 2021.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Data

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2022 is 3.6 percent. This is tied for the second lowest not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the history of the series. The rate shows an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the revised April 2022 not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. The rate shows a decrease of 2.5 percentage points from the May 2021 rate of 6.1 percent.

Since April 2022, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals decreased by 3,512 from 2,023,581 to 2,020,069 in May 2022. When compared to May 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 79,971.

Since April 2022, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals increased by 2,071 from 73,892 to 75,963 in May 2022. When compared to May 2021, the number of not seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 49,472.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment for May 2022 is 1,916,800, an increase of 5,300 jobs from the April 2022 revised estimate of 1,911,500. When compared to May 2021, not seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 40,500 jobs. The May 2022 employment figure shows 14 consecutive over-the-year gains.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted total private employment for May 2022 is 1,605,900, an increase of 4,900 jobs from the April 2022 revised estimate of 1,601,000. When compared to May 2021, not seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 45,500 jobs. The May 2022 employment figure shows 14 consecutive over-the-year gains.

May 2022 metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish unemployment rates will be released on June 24, 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.