BATON ROUGE – Powered by steadily improving conditions in Louisiana’s economy, the number of individuals employed in Louisiana has increased over the year by 44,453 to 2,041,419 in May. This is the second-highest number of individuals employed in Louisiana in the series history.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force is now 2,138,975 which is the highest number of individuals in Louisiana’s labor force since March 2016. The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, or the number of individuals who are employed in addition to those looking for work, increased by 992 over the month and 29,985 from May 2017. Louisiana’s labor-participation rate, which now stands at 59.5 percent, is up 0.1 percentage points since April 2018.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment gained 18,900 jobs since May 2017, the eighth straight month of over-the-year-gains. This brings Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted, nonfarm jobs total to 1,992,000. From April, there was an over-the-month loss in Health Care and Social Assistance of more than 2,800 jobs, resulting in a combined statewide over-the-month loss of 200 jobs – the first over-the-month loss since November 2017.

Seasonally adjusted, private-sector employment saw an over-the-month increase of 500 jobs and an over-the- year increase of 21,700 jobs, bringing the total to 1,667,000 jobs. Total private employment has added jobs over the month in seven of the last eight months.

“Louisiana is breaking records in terms of employment, and that is exciting news for everyone in our state,” said Ava Dejoie, Executive Director of the LWC. “Louisiana’s employment outlook has shown marked improvement in the last year, with more job seekers finding opportunities to advance their careers. A strong workforce is absolutely vital in terms of Louisiana’s overall health, and meeting the needs of employers and job seekers remains our focus.”

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased in May by 0.7 percentage points when compared to May 2017. The unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points over-the-month to 4.6 percent. This is the lowest unemployment rate for the month of May since 2008. The number of unemployed declined over the year by 14,468.