Unemployment rate declines again, Shreveport gains jobs

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.5 percent in February 2018 while the Shreveport area gained jobs.

This drop is a slight decrease from January 2018’s rate of 4.6 percent. Compared to February 2017, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 1.2 percent.

The over-the-year decline of 1.2 percent is the second largest in the nation this month.

When looking at Louisiana’s labor force, seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals are also at historical lows. The number of unemployed in February was 95,099. The last time there were fewer seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals was in May 2008.

Among Louisiana’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), remaining seasonally adjusted data for the Shreveport MSA showed Shreveport a gain of 1,000 jobs from January 2018.

However, the MSA is still down 300 jobs from the same time last year.

When looking at Louisiana’s employment, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has seen over-the-month gains in three straight months and in four of the last five months. When breaking it down even further and looking at particular sectors, manufacturing specifically, has added jobs both over the month and over the year for three straight months.

“We are excited about the latest unemployment figures, and will continue to work with our industry partners to place Louisianans in family-sustaining careers,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Executive Director Ava Dejoie

Seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 8,718 from January 2018 to 2,032,834. From February 2017, the number of seasonally adjusted employed individuals increased by 42,042.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of people who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 7,249 to 2,127,933 from January 2018. Compared to February 2017, Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force is up by 17,447.

“Louisiana’s economy has shown consistent improvement from this time last year, which we look forward to building in the months ahead,” Dejoie added.

Seasonally adjusted data shows that nonfarm employment increased by 2,800 jobs from January 2018 to 1,974,400.

From January 2018, seasonally adjusted data shows that private-sector employment increased by 2,800 jobs to 1,649,100. Private sector employment has seen over-the-month gains in four out of the last five months.

Industries that showed the largest gains for seasonally adjusted jobs:

• Education & Health Services gained 200 jobs for the month and is up 4,300 jobs for the year.

• Leisure & Hospitality gained 600 jobs for the month and is up 6,200 jobs for the year.

• Manufacturing gained 1,900 jobs for the month and is up 1,800 jobs for the year.

• Mining & Logging, which includes industries in the oil and gas sector, gained 200 jobs for the month.