Unemployment rate drops for third month in a row

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.4 percent in March.

This figure is down 1.2 percent from March 2017. From February 2018, this figure is down by 0.1 percentage points.

“LCI"

The last time the unemployment rate was below this level was in April 2008.

The Shreveport metropolitan statistical area (MSA) seasonally adjusted data shows it lost 800 jobs from February 2018 and 1,000 jobs from March 2017.

The number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 46,420 from March 2017 to 2,039,275. From February 2018, the number of employed individuals is up by 6,302. From March 2017, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals decreased by 22,571 to 94,779. This is the lowest level of seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals since May 2008.

The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of individuals who are employed in addition to those looking for work increased by 23,849 from March 2017. From February 2018, the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force increased by 6,004.

“Our three leading workforce indicators are all headed in the right direction; employment is up, unemployment is down and the civilian labor force is expanding,” said Ava Dejoie, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC). “Job seekers are becoming optimistic in their chances of finding meaningful employment, and employers are more confident in their ability to find the talent they need to staff and expand their businesses.”

Seasonally adjusted data indicates that nonfarm employment added 12,100 jobs from March 2017 to 1,985,100. This is the largest over-the-year gain since May 2015. Nonfarm employment has seen over-the-year gains for six straight months. From February 2018, nonfarm employment increased by 6,800 jobs. There have been over-the-month gains for the past four months, and five out of the last six months.

“To help continue Louisiana’s economic growth, our workers must be able to develop the knowledge and skills they need to compete in today’s more technical economy,” said Dejoie. “That’s why we are working so hard delivering these skill improvement opportunities with Registered Apprenticeship and the Incumbent Worker Training Program. These and other LWC programs help workers gain the relevant skills they need and employers want.”

Seasonally adjusted private-sector employment added 15,100 jobs from March 2017 to 1,660,100. This is also the largest over-the-year gain since May 2015. Additionally, total private-sector employment has added jobs over-the-year for six straight months. From February 2018, private-sector employment added 7,100 jobs. Total private sector employment has added jobs over the month in five of the last six months.

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs:

Professional and Business Services gained 1,900 jobs for the month and 5,400 jobs for the year.

Education & Health Services gained 1,000 jobs for the month and 4,900 jobs for the year. The Education and Health Services employment sector is at a series high for employment. | Equal Opportunity Employer/Program | Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities TDD# 800-259-5154 |

Other Services, which includes industries engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repair and services, gained 500 jobs for the month and 1,900 jobs for the year. The Other Services employment sector is at a series high for employment.

Construction gained 1,200 jobs for the month and 1,500 jobs for the year.

Manufacturing gained 900 jobs for the month and 2,400 jobs for the year.