Workforce Commission: Louisiana regains more than half of the jobs lost during COVID-19 shutdowns

Louisiana has regained more than half of the jobs it had lost since the low point of the state’s recession resulting from the governor’s stay-at-home orders and restrictions on businesses, according to new data published by the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC).

The state has gained 133,400 jobs since April, according to preliminary August data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This represents a 56 percent recovery, the LWC says.

The state unemployment rate fell from 9.4 percent to 7.6 percent from July to August, adjusted to reflect seasonal employment shifts.

“We’re headed in the right direction, in terms of people going back to work,” LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie said, adding that the low price of oil continues to belabor the state’s recovery.

The national unemployment rate fell by 1.8 percentage points in August to 8.4 percent but was 4.7 points higher than in August 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates were lower in August in 41 states, higher in 2 states, and stable in 7 states and the District of Columbia, the BLS says. All 50 states and the District reported jobless rate increases from a year earlier due to state shutdowns.

The industries of trade, transportation and utilities led Louisiana’s job growth, adding roughly 6,400 jobs, the LWC says. Leisure and hospitality gained 5,400 jobs; professional and business services added 1,900 jobs.

Among the state’s nine metropolitan areas, seasonally adjusted data for August indicates:

• Alexandria gained 800 jobs from July 2020, but lost 2,700 jobs from August 2019.

• Baton Rouge gained 10,000 jobs from July 2020, but lost 20,600 jobs from August 2019.

• Hammond gained 500 jobs from July 2020, but lost 2,500 jobs from August 2019.

• Houma gained 1,600 jobs from July 2020, but lost 5,400 jobs from August 2019.

• Lafayette remained unchanged from July 2020, but lost 11,900 jobs from August 2019.

• Lake Charles gained 1,100 jobs from July 2020, but lost 14,200 jobs from August 2019.

• Monroe gained 900 jobs from July 2020 and 500 jobs from August 2019.

• New Orleans gained 3,000 jobs from July 2020, but lost 66,400 jobs from August 2019.

• Shreveport gained 2,400 jobs from July 2020, but lost 10,500 jobs from August 2019.



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