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La. sets employment record

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BATON ROUGE – Louisiana set a record in January with 1,990,531 people employed, which helped lower the unemployment rate to 4.9 percent, according to seasonally adjusted data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of people employed in January was 25,787 higher than January 2013. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed was 102,476; 29,310 fewer than a year earlier, according to a BLS survey of 750 households.

“2014 is picking up right where 2013 left off,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “Our labor markets are strong and we expect employment will continue to increase as billions of dollars of new projects ramp up during the next three or four years.”

Louisiana’s civilian labor force—the total number of employed and unemployed—was 2,093,007 in January, 3,523 fewer than a year earlier.

According to a separate survey of 6,000 employers across industries and regions, Louisiana’s private employers added 25,300 jobs from January 2013 to January 2014.

Leisure and hospitality led all employment sectors with an increase of 10,000 jobs over the year. Other sectors with the biggest increases were trade, transportation, and utilities with 5,300; education and health services with 4,200; and manufacturing with 2,700.

The statewide not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 5.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent a year earlier.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in January was 2,060,734, a decline of 10,632 over the year. The number of people employed was 1,955,551, an increase of 35,391, and the number of unemployed was 105,183, down 46,023 over the year.

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved over the year in every parish, as well as metro areas, including Shreveport: 5.6 percent, down from 7.8 percent.