Louisiana employment shows slight recent recovery in July

By David Jacobs | The Center Square

Louisiana’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in July, though there were still more than 170,000 fewer people working than the same month last year, official estimates show.

The state’s unemployment rate was 9.4 percent in July, compared to 9.5 percent in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

The number of people employed in the state increased by 16,931 from 1,805,027 in June to 1,821,958 in July. Compared to July 2019, the number of employed residents decreased by 170,505. The numbers have been adjusted to reflect seasonal employment shifts.

The leisure and hospitality sector gained 4,700 jobs from June to July, more than any other sector, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Trade, transportation and utilities gained 2,800 jobs, while education and health services gained 3,600 jobs, the LWC says.

New unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Aug. 15 rose to 14,365, compared to the previous week’s total of 11,131, according to the LWC. For a pre-pandemic comparison, during the week ending Aug. 17, 2019, 1,994 initial claims were filed.

Continued claims for last week fell to 255,068 compared to the previous week’s total of 299,974. There were 16,787 continued claims for the week ending Aug. 17, 2019.

The LWC has more than 70,000 jobs available to apply for on its website, Secretary Ava Dejoie says.

“The LWC will continue to help individuals return to the workforce, and ensure the hiring needs of employers throughout the state are met,” she said in a prepared statement.

Among Louisiana’s metropolitan statistical areas, seasonally adjusted data shows:

  • Alexandria gained 900 jobs from June 2020, but lost 3,200 jobs from July 2019.
  • Baton Rouge gained 8,900 jobs from June 2020, but lost 27,700 jobs from July 2019.
  • Hammond lost 200 jobs from June 2020 and lost 3,000 jobs from July 2019.
  • Houma gained 900 jobs from June 2020, but lost 6,500 jobs from July 2019.
  • Lafayette gained 2,800 jobs from June 2020, but lost 10,600 jobs from July 2019.
  • Lake Charles lost 2,000 jobs from June 2020 and lost 14,700 jobs from July 2019.
  • Monroe gained 1,100 jobs from June 2020, but lost 500 jobs from July 2019.
  • New Orleans gained 5,100 jobs from June 2020, but lost 68,100 jobs from July 2019.
  • Shreveport gained 700 jobs from June 2020, but lost 12,900 jobs from July 2019.