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Sean Harris holds a sign asking for help while standing on the neutral ground on Carrollton Ave. at Bienville Ave. in New Orleans, La. Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Harris had just completed training to be a haunted history tour guide in the French Quarter when the coronavirus pandemic hit. He has not been able to find a job since. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

Louisiana saw incremental job gains between September and October but remains 5.6% down over the year due to the economic recession spurred by restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Louisiana had 1,882,700 nonfarm jobs in October, up by 29,300 jobs from September for an uptick of 1.6%, but still 112,000 below year-ago levels, according to preliminary numbers released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data is not seasonally adjusted.

Meanwhile, the report showed 197,250 unemployed in October, compared to 167,800 in September and 105,844 a year ago. Though up over the past month, the latest number is a sizable improvement since May when 289,500 workers were out of a job, according to federal data.

However, the numbers don't fully reflect the unemployment situation that's more clearly defined in how many people are receiving unemployment benefits. When extended unemployment benefits and those getting pandemic unemployment are included, there were still 370,000 Louisiana residents receiving jobless benefits at the end of October, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. 

The state unemployment rate hit 9.4% in October, up from 8% in September and 5.2% in October 2019 as the available workforce grew to 2,118,292 in October from 2,097,096 in September, and was up from 2,108,448 a year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.9% in October, down from 7.9% in September but still well above its pre-pandemic 3.6% one year ago. 

The monthly unemployment data is calculated using worker surveys conducted during the second week of October. 

Leisure and hospitality continues to be the hardest-hit industry, down 36,200 jobs, or 15.1%, to 202,200 in October compared to a year ago. Education and health services was down 22,300 jobs, or 6.8%, to 301,600 jobs; federal, state and local government, which includes public school employees, was down 9,200 jobs, or 2.7%, to 328,000 jobs. Mining and logging, which includes the oil and gas sector, was down 8,800 jobs, or 23.8%, to 28,100 workers. 

Manufacturing was down 8,200 jobs, or 6%, to 128,300 workers; trade, transportation and utilities, 8,100 jobs, or 2.1%, to 369,400 workers; construction, 6,800 jobs, or 4.8%, to 132,400; professional and business services, 6,700 jobs, or 3%, to 210,700; other services, 3,600 jobs, or 4.8%, to 70,900; information, 1,500 jobs, or 7.2%, to 19,300; financial activities, 600 jobs, or 0.7%, to 91,800. 


Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.