The number of jobs in five of Louisiana’s nine metro areas were higher in October than 12 months earlier and the state had 9,200 more nonfarm jobs than it did a year ago.
There were 1,992,000 nonfarm jobs in the state during October, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. That’s a nearly 0.05 percent increase over the 1,982,800 jobs in October 2016.
While this was the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year job gains for the state, the increase was slower than the national average. There were 1.4 percent more jobs in the U.S. in October than a year earlier, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that have not been seasonally adjusted.
BATON ROUGE: The Capital Region added 4,200 nonfarm jobs for the 12-month period ending in October, bumping the total to 413,600. That 1 percent gain was the second-largest in total jobs of any metro area in the state behind Lake Charles. The area added 2,700 jobs in education and health services, 1,600 in leisure and hospitality and 800 in construction. The number of trade, transportation and utility jobs fell 1,100, its 13th consecutive year-over-year loss.
NEW ORLEANS: The Crescent City added 400 jobs, reaching 578,800 for a 0.07 percent gain. Over the year, professional and business services added 3,200 jobs; construction, 1,400; and manufacturing, 800 jobs. Government lost 2,900 jobs over the year, with local government accounting for 2,400 fewer jobs. Financial activities lost 1,000 jobs over the year.
LAFAYETTE: Acadiana continued to be hard hit by low oil prices. Nonfarm employment in the area dipped by 700 jobs, the 33rd consecutive year-over-year decline. Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas exploration and production, was down 800 jobs from the year before. Professional and business services were down by 400 jobs. Manufacturing added 700 jobs, and leisure and hospitality was up 400.
OTHER AREAS: Lake Charles was the biggest jobs gainer, adding 4,700 jobs from October 2016, a 4.2 percent increase; Hammond, 800 jobs, 1.8 percent; and Monroe, 500 jobs, 0.6 percent. Losses were reported for Houma-Thibodaux, 1,700 jobs, 1.9 percent; Shreveport-Bossier City, 2,600 jobs, 1.4 percent; and Alexandria, 700 jobs, 1.1 percent decrease.
Statewide, the nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October was 4.3 percent, down from 5.9 percent a year ago and above the national unemployment average of 3.9 percent. The New Orleans unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, down from 5.6 percent the year before; Baton Rouge, 3.7 percent, down from 5.1 percent; and Lafayette, 4.6 percent, down from 6.9 percent.