BR, N.O., Lafayette part of state’s job growth

La. gains jobs at steady rate

The number of nonfarm jobs in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and the state as a whole increased from January 2012 to January 2013, figures released Monday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission show.

Louisiana gained 21,200 jobs over the year, or a 1.1 percent increase, putting the statewide total up to 1.9 million. The state is flirting with cracking the 2 million job mark by the end of the year or early 2014, thanks to the booming chemical industry.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force, which includes the number of people who are working and those unemployed people who are looking for jobs, hit its highest mark since November 2005. In January, the labor force was nearly 2.1 million.

“The growth of our labor force and the high number of people who are working are indicators our economy is continuing to grow,” Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, said in a statement.

BATON ROUGE: The number of nonfarm jobs in metro Baton Rouge increased by 9,100 during the 12-month period. That 2.5 percent gain put the Capital Region at 376,200 jobs. The city saw job gains in a number of sectors, most notably construction, which went to 43,200 jobs in January from 37,700 a year earlier, and professional and business service jobs, which increased to 45,400 from 42,900.

NEW ORLEANS: The metro area added 4,600 jobs in January, bumping the Crescent City up to 526,900. That was an increase of less than 1 percent.

The city saw gains in the number of professional and business service jobs, going up to 70,100 from 67,500, and leisure and hospitality jobs, which went to 76,600 from 75,300.

LAFAYETTE: Lafayette added 3,800 jobs, a gain of 2.5 percent, to come in at 155,700 for January. Much of that gain came from an increase in private service-providing jobs, which were up 3,700 for the 12-month period to 104,200.

OTHER METRO AREAS: Lake Charles added 2,200 jobs in the 12-month period to come in at 91,400; Houma-Thibodaux added 2,100 jobs to reach 94,300; and Monroe added 600 jobs for a total of 76,200.

Shreveport-Bossier, which has been hard hit by the shutdown of the General Motors plant, lost 3,600 jobs from January to January, for a total of 173,700. Alexandria had a 1,000-job decrease for a total of 61,700.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 5.9 percent, the 15th-lowest rate out of any state in the country. Louisiana was well below the national unemployment average of 7.9 percent and the Southern average of 7.3 percent.

The state’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 7.2 percent, reflecting the end of holiday sales and shipping jobs and student workers who hadn’t returned to class, the workforce commission reported.

Lafayette had a non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in January, far below the state average, while Baton Rouge also beat state numbers, coming in at 7 percent, and New Orleans had a 7.2 percent unemployment rate, the same as the state’s.