Getting back to work

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Natchitoches Parish unemployment rate drops to 5 percent

By Carolyn Roy, carolyn@natchitochestimes.com

The Natchitoches Parish unemployment rate in March was 5.0 percent, which is slightly lower than it was a year ago in March, according to the La. Workforce Development April bulletin. There were 15,704 people employed in the parish and 818 who were unemployed. In March of 2017, the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent. There were 15,794 people employed and 993 unemployed. Nationally, the March unemployment rate was 4.1 percent; in Louisiana, it was 4.4 percent

Nationally, the average weekly earnings were $1,141 for 38.7 hours, or average hourly wages of $29.50 In Louisiana, the average weekly earnings were $1,135 for 42.9 hours, or average weekly wages of $15.08. Total private employment (1,655,800 jobs) gained 15,100 jobs over the month and added 15,300 jobs over the year. The series average for the years 2015-2017 shows a gain of 4,200 jobs over the month and a gain of 1,000 jobs over the year. Total private employment has added jobs over the year for six straight months. Natchitoches Parish is included in the Alexandria District that showed an estimated 62,200 jobs. The area added 200 jobs over March and added 500 jobs over the year. This shows four consecutive over-the-year gains after 19 consecutive losses.

The unemployment rate for several area parishes was Caddo, 4.9 percent; La Salle, 4.2 percent; Red River, 4.1 percent, Winn, 5.7 percent; Grant, 5.3 percent; Rapides, 4.7 percent; and DeSoto, 5.0 percent. The report showed the Statewide number of jobs in various categories: Nonfarm employment (1,982,800 jobs) in Louisiana added 13,900 jobs over the month and gained 12,500 jobs over the year. The series average for the years 2015-2017 for March shows a gain of 2,900 jobs over the month and a loss of 200 jobs over the year. This is the sixth straight over-the-year increase.

Total private employment (1,655,800 jobs) gained 15,100 jobs over the month and added 15,300 jobs over the year. The series average for the years 2015-2017 shows a gain of 4,200 jobs over the month and a gain of 1,000 jobs over the year. Total private employment has added jobs over the year for six straight months. Mining and logging (33,900 jobs) gained 100 jobs over the month but lost 800 jobs over the year. This shows 46 straight months with an over-the-year loss. Construction (147,800 jobs) gained 2,100 jobs over the month and added 1,700 jobs over the year. This shows over-the-year gains in 14 of the last 15 months. The non-residential building construction subsector added 2,300 jobs over the year.

The heavy and civil engineering subsector gained 2,400 jobs over the month but lost 1,500 jobs over the year. Manufacturing (136,600 jobs) gained 1,800 jobs over the month and added 2,400 jobs over the year. This shows the largest March over-the-month gain since 1992 and the largest for any month since September 2006. Durable goods manufacturing gained 400 jobs over the month. Non-durable goods manufacturing added 1,400 jobs over the month and 2,300 jobs over the year. Trade, transportation, and utilities (378,900 jobs) added 4,000 over the month but lost 2,900 jobs over the year. The sector has lost jobs over the year for 30 straight months.

Wholesale trade added 1,000 jobs over the month and added 1,300 jobs over the year. Retail trade added 2,400 jobs over the month but lost 2,400 jobs over the year. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities added 600 jobs over the month but lost 1,800 jobs over the year. Information (23,700 jobs) gained 600 jobs over the month but lost 100 jobs over the year. The series has lost jobs over the year for 10 straight months. Financial activities (90,600 jobs) added 400 jobs over the month but lost 1,200 jobs over the year. The series has lost jobs over the year for 17 straight months.

Professional and business services (214,600 jobs) gained 3,000 jobs over the month and added 5,200 jobs over the year. Professional, scientific and technical services lost 100 jobs over the month and lost 400 jobs over the year. Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services gained 3,100 jobs over the month and gained 5,900 jobs over the year. Education and health services (319,100 jobs) gained 1,400 jobs over the month and added 5,900 jobs over the year. This is a series high for employment. The series has shown over-the- year gains every month beginning in October 2006. Educational services lost 300 jobs over the month but gained 400 jobs over the year. Health care and social assistance gained 1,700 jobs over the month and 5,500 jobs over the year. Leisure and hospitality (235,200 jobs) gained 1,000 jobs over the month and added 3,500 jobs over the year. It is the 10th consecutive over-the-year gain.

Arts, entertainment, and recreation added 500 jobs over the month and added 100 jobs over the year. Accommodation and food services added 500 jobs over the month and added 3,400 jobs from last year. Other services (75,400 jobs) gained 700 jobs over the month and gained 1,600 jobs over the year. Government (327,000 jobs) lost 1,200 over the month and lost 2,800 jobs over the year. State government (87,400 jobs) lost 400 jobs over the month and lost 2,200 jobs over the year.

Local government (208,800 jobs) lost 800 jobs over the month and lost 700 jobs over the year.