BATON ROUGE – Based off of data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 23,100 jobs from November 2017. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment is now at 1,991,100. This is the 14th month in a row that seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment has increased over the year.
From November 2017, seasonally adjusted private sector employment increased by 25,200 jobs to 1,667,000. This is also the 14th over-the-year increase for seasonally adjusted private sector employment.
But locally, the Houma-Thibodaux area lost 200 jobs in October and is the only Louisiana metro area that had fewer jobs, 500, than a year ago, the preliminary figures show.
The metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, has lost roughly 16,000 jobs — nearly one of every five — since mid-2014 as low crude prices sparked layoffs and work slowdowns throughout the oil industry.
Indicators have shown the Gulf oilfield, the area’s key economic engine, has been stabilizing. The local oilfield had posted year-over-year gains of a few hundred jobs in both September and October, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
The Gulf rig count stood at 24 last week, up one for the week and five compared to a year ago, according to separate figures released by oilfield-services company Baker-Hughes. That’s less than half the 56 rigs operating in August 2014, when the offshore oil bust began.
Houma-Thibodaux’s October unemployment rate of 4.8 percent was down from 5 percent in September and up from 4.4 percent a year earlier. Of the state’s 388 metro areas, only 27 had higher jobless rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 5 percent last month, the same as October but up from 4.7 percent a year ago. The state has the nation’s fourth-highest jobless rate, behind West Virginia, the District of Columbia and Alaska, federal figures show.
The national unemployment rate has remained unchanged from September at 3.7 percent but was down 4.1 percent in November 2017.
Below are the November job gains and losses in Louisiana’s metro areas:
• Alexandria gained 100 jobs from November 2017, but lost 100 jobs from October 2018.
• Baton Rouge gained 6,300 jobs from November 2017 and 700 jobs from October 2018.
• Hammond gained 800 jobs from November 2017 and 100 jobs from October 2018.
• Houma lost 500 jobs from November 2017 and 200 jobs from October 2018.
• Lafayette gained 1,400 jobs from November 2017 and 100 jobs from October 2018.
• Lake Charles gained 3,700 jobs from November 2017 and 100 jobs from October 2018.
• Monroe gained 800 jobs from November 2017 and 100 jobs from October 2018.
• New Orleans gained 12,500 jobs from November 2017, but lost 1,600 jobs from October 2018.
• Shreveport gained 700 jobs from November 2017 and 200 jobs from October 2018.
“Louisiana’s economy has continued to strengthen and make significant progress over the past 14 months,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Secretary Ava Dejoie. “As we look to 2019, the LWC will continue to work with both employers and job-seekers to ensure everyone has an opportunity at a family-sustaining career.”
The Workforce Commission’s revised figures will be released in early January.
Posted on Wed, January 2, 2019
by The Lafourche Gazette