N.O. gains 8,200 jobs over 12 months through August _lowres


The number of nonfarm jobs in the New Orleans metro area increased by 8,200, or 1.5 percent, for the 12-month period ending in August, the second-largest total of any metro area in the state.

There were 554,900 nonfarm jobs in the Crescent City in August, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

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.

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. New Orleans, Baton Rouge, 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:

BATON ROUGE: The Capital Region added 12,900 jobs in the 12-month period ending in August, a nearly 3.4 percent gain that took the city up to 396,600 jobs. 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 at 54,200.

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 a total of 78,400 for August.

Alexandria was the only metro area to lose jobs, dropping by 300 to end at 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.

The New Orleans unemployment rate fell from 6.6 percent in July to 6.5 percent in August.

Baton Rouge’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.3 percent in July to 6.1 percent in August. Lafayette saw its unemployment rate hold at 5 percent.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.