The number of nonfarm jobs in the Baton Rouge metro area increased by 12,900, or nearly 3.4 percent, for the 12-month period ending in August, making the Capital Region the second-fastest growing area in the state.
There were 396,600 nonfarm jobs in the Baton Rouge metro area in August, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Baton Rouge’s gain was powered by the construction industry. The number of construction jobs increased by 8,000, or 18 percent, over August 2013, to reach 52,300. The number of education and health services jobs increased by 2,000 over the year to come in with 54,200.
Louisiana gained a total of 26,000 jobs, or a 1.3 percent increase, over the 12-month period that ended in August. The increase put the non-seasonally adjusted statewide jobs total at 1.97 million, according to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state added 31,900 private sector jobs over the 12-month period, a nearly 2 percent gain, to bring total private employment to nearly 1.65 million.
Curt Eysink, the executive director of the workforce commission, said the job growth matches what is happening in many industries across the state. “We have more companies operating today. We have very large companies that have announced their intention to open up or expand in Louisiana, and there are countless small businesses whose collective growth is helping many more people in Louisiana improve their standards of living,” he said.
The unemployment picture varied statewide. Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lake Charles and Shreveport all saw month-to-month drops in the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate. The rate was unchanged in Lafayette, Houma-Thibodaux and Monroe and higher statewide and in Alexandria. The unemployment rate is based on a separate survey of 750 households.
Louisiana’s civilian labor force, which includes people who are working and unemployed people who are looking for jobs, increased by 52,731 for the year, putting the labor force at 2.16 million.
Taking a look at the other metro areas:
NEW ORLEANS: The metro area added 8,200 jobs in the 12-month period ending in August, bumping the Crescent City up to 554,900. That was an increase of 1.5 percent from a year ago.
The city saw gains in the number of educational services jobs, going to 29,500 from 25,900 over the year, while accommodation jobs went from 13,900 to 15,200 in August. On the negative side, the number of ship and boat building jobs was down by more than 20 percent for the year to 2,700, representing the continuing winding down of business at Avondale Shipyard.
LAFAYETTE: Lafayette added 3,200 jobs, a gain of 2 percent, to come in at 162,300 for the 12-month period. Leisure and hospitality jobs increased from 16,700 to 17,900. Manufacturing jobs were up by nearly 6 percent, or 700, to reach 13,000.
OTHER METRO AREAS: Lake Charles added 3,600 jobs in the 12-month period ending in August to come in at 95,200. That 4 percent gain made it the fastest-growing metro area. Houma-Thibodaux added 1,500 jobs to reach 101,600. Shreveport-Bossier City saw the number of jobs go up by 1,900 to top 173,000. Monroe added 600 jobs to reach 78,400 for August.
Alexandria was the only metro area to lose jobs, dropping by 300 to end with 62,200.
Statewide, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August was 6.4 percent, up from 6.2 percent in July. Louisiana was above the national unemployment average of 6.3 percent.
Baton Rouge’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.3 percent in July to 6.1 percent in August. New Orleans saw a smaller drop, falling from 6.6 percent in July to 6.5 percent in August. Lafayette saw its unemployment rate hold at 5 percent.
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