Employment in education and health services grew by 2,400 jobs in December 2015 to the highest level since the current employment tracking system began in 1990, while Louisiana’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to seasonally-adjusted data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the data also show the decline in oil and gas employment slowed in December as Louisiana lost only 100 jobs in the mining and logging sector, which includes oil and gas. However, over the year, the state lost 9,900 jobs as oil prices slumped sharply and companies cut back on operations. Mining and logging sector employment remains at the lowest level since the BLS tracking system began in 1990.
Education and health services added 10,100 jobs over the year with 311,600 jobs in these fields. The sector has shown over-the-year gains every month since October 2006.
The state’s unemployment rate for December, 6.1 percent, was down from 7.2 percent in December 2014. The total civilian labor force for the month was estimated at 2,133,630, down about 9,100 from November and more than 66,000 over the year. Among the state’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), New Orleans gained 2,000 jobs during December while Baton Rouge continued its string of monthly gains, adding 200 jobs.
The BLS has begun its annual process of benchmarking, which involves the comparison of employment estimates released for the year against data received from employers’ quarterly reports. Revisions of data for 2015 are possible as a result of this process. Because of benchmarking, unemployment data for January 2016 and February 2016 will be released in March.
Source: Louisiana Workforce Commission