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People walk past businesses on Jefferson Street Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in downtown Lafayette, La.

Businesses in Acadiana added 1,100 jobs from September to October as business continues to recover during the coronavirus pandemic, but the region still had 11,100 fewer jobs than it did a year ago.

Overall, the state added 29,300 jobs month-to-month, bringing the total number of nonfarm jobs in Louisiana to nearly 1.9 million, according to figures released Tuesday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. That’s still 112,000, or 5.6%, fewer jobs than in October 2019. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

The data was based off surveys taken by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics during the second week of October. That was a few weeks after Gov. John Bel Edwards set up guidelines to allow Louisiana bars to reopen, provided the number of positive coronavirus tests in the parish remained below 5%.

The month-to-month gain brought the total number of jobs in Acadiana up to 193,000, still behind the 205,000 in the area in October 2019. 

Leisure and hospitality added 1,300 jobs, bringing the total to 23,300, up 7.4% from October 2019, when 21,700 people worked in the industry. Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas jobs, was unchanged month-to-month at 9,900. There were 13,200 jobs in that sector in October 2019.

The unemployment rate in Lafayette was 8.3% in October, up from 7.3% in September and 4.9% in October 2019.

Louisiana’s October unemployment rate was 9.3%, up from 5% in October 2019. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.6%, up from 3.3% the year before.

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BATON ROUGE AREA: The Capital City area added 5,900 jobs from September to October but still had 18,600 fewer jobs than it did a year ago. The month-to-month gain brought the total number of jobs up to 393,100. That’s 4.5% below the 411,700 jobs in the metro area in October 2019.

Construction added 2,500 jobs from September to October but was still off by 900 from October 2019. Food service and bars added 1,300 jobs from a month earlier but remained down 7,100 jobs, or 21.4%, from last year. Health care and social assistance added 1,100 jobs month-to-month but was still down 2,400 jobs from a year earlier.

The Baton Rouge unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, was 8% in October. That’s up from 7% rate in October and well above the 4.6% unemployment in October 2019.

NEW ORLEANS AREA: The New Orleans area added 7,700 jobs from September to October to reach 528,800. That’s 56,600 below October 2019.

Food service and bars added 3,700 jobs from September to October to come in at 45,300, down 29% from the October 2019 figure of 63,800. Education and health services added 1,900 jobs to reach 101,700. That’s down 3.9% from October 2019. Professional, scientific and technical services was up by 1,700 jobs month to month, but still down 7.8% from last year.

New Orleans, which is heavily dependent on tourism, conventions and restaurants, had an 11.3% unemployment rate in October. That’s up from 9.4% in September and 4.7 in October 2019.

OTHER AREAS: Monroe had 500 more jobs in October than a month earlier to reach 78,200, up 500 jobs from October 2019. Alexandria had 600 more jobs at 60,000, but 2,100 fewer than a year ago. Hammond was up 700 jobs at 44,700, down 2,000 from a year earlier. Shreveport-Bossier City added 800 jobs to finish with 171,600, 9,400 fewer than a year ago. Houma-Thibodaux added 700 jobs to reach 83,700, but 4,600 less than last year. Lake Charles, which has been hard hit by hurricanes, gained 3,500 jobs to 93,200, but was 20,200 lower than a year ago.


Email Timothy Boone at tboone@theadvocate.com.