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Jobs Up..Unemployment Down

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s overall labor force, the number of people employed in the labor force, and nonfarm jobs grew in April, according to not seasonally adjusted data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s civilian labor force grew by 10,878 over the month and by 84,455 over the year, according to the not seasonally adjusted data. Those employed in the labor force grew to a record 2,063,629, an increase of 12,372 over the month and 53,546 over the year.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points over the month to 6.3 percent. The number of people looking for work also decreased by 1,494 in April, according to estimates from a BLS survey of 750 Louisiana households.

“The April numbers reflect the same growth we’ve been experiencing for four years,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “That’s good news for employers and job seekers.”

A separate BLS survey of employers across industries and the state found Louisiana added 4,500 nonfarm jobs in April to bring the nonfarm employment total to 1,986,500, not seasonally adjusted data show.

Private employers added 4,300 jobs over the month and 15,000 jobs over the year. Professional and business services posted the largest over-the-month increase with 1,700 additional jobs in April. Leisure and hospitality added 1,500 jobs and the information sector added 1,000 jobs.

Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas, lost 1,100 jobs over the month and 5,100 jobs over the year.

The Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area added 1,000 nonfarm jobs over the month and 7,700 jobs over the year, making April the 52nd consecutive month of over-the-year increases. Nonfarm employment in the Lake Charles metro area has had 46 consecutive months of over-the-year increases with 7,400 more jobs than last year.

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates also fell over the month in six of Louisiana’s metro areas:

• Alexandria: 6.5 percent, down from 6.6 percent in March;

• Baton Rouge: 5.5 percent, unchanged from March;

• Hammond: 7.1 percent, down from 7.2 percent;

• Houma, 5.6 percent, up from 5.5 percent;

• Lafayette: 6.1 percent, up from 6.0 percent;

• Lake Charles: 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent;

• Monroe: 6.7 percent, down from 6.9 percent;

• New Orleans: 6.0 percent, down from 6.2 percent;

• Shreveport: 6.9 percent, down from 7.0 percent.

Not seasonally adjusted data are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas, and for comparing them to the state. Seasonally adjusted data, which we released Wednesday, May 27, are useful for comparisons among states and the nation.

Employers looking for workers should visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at and create a HiRE account which will provide access to qualified job seekers. Individuals looking for jobs in high-value careers should use Louisiana Star Jobs, the LWC’s free career exploration and job search tool. Employers can also contact their local Business & Career Solutions Center for assistance.

To view all available employment data, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at and select Labor Market Information from the top-right menu. Then select Monthly Employment Bulletin – Workforce At A Glance or Monthly Employment Statistics Press Release for the latest monthly nonfarm and labor force data.

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