There is good news on the job front here in the Bayou State. Louisiana's unemployment rate has reached its lowest point since before the COVID-19 pandemic last February.

Louisiana's unemployment rate in February fell by 0.5 percentage points from January to 7.1%. That's the lowest since March 2020 when the rate was 5.3%.

This is pretty good progress, considering that the state had 158,000 fewer nonfarm jobs than during the same month last year, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The numbers in this recent LWC report, however, have not been adjusted to reflect seasonal workforce trends.

Total private employment increased in the state by 10,300 jobs from 1,501,300 to 1,511,600 in February. Compare that to February 2020, and private sector employment decreased by 143,000 jobs.

Industries with the largest month-to-month gains were leisure and hospitality, which gained 3,400 jobs, professional and business services (3,200 jobs), construction (1,700 jobs) and trade, transportation and utilities (1,700 jobs).

Even more good news is that all nine of the state's metro areas saw their unemployment rates fall month-to-month.

Here are the seasonally adjusted February 2021 unemployment rates for Louisiana's nine metropolitans:

  • Alexandria: 4.7%, down from 5.2% in January, but up from 4.4% in February 2020
  • Baton Rouge: 6.2%, down from 6.7% in January, but up from 3.8% in February 2020
  • Hammond: 8.0%, down from 8.7% in January, but up from 4.6% in February 2020
  • Houma: 6.2%, down from 6.7% in January, but up from 3.9% in February 2020
  • Lafayette: 6.5%, down from 7.0% in January, but up from 4.2% in February 2020
  • Lake Charles: 7.3%, down from 8.1% in January, but up from 3.9% in February 2020
  • Monroe: 6.2%, down from 6.6% in January, but up from 4.9% in February 2020
  • New Orleans: 8.6%, down from 9.1% in January, but up from 3.8% in February 2020
  • Shreveport: 6.8%, down from 7.3% in January, but up from 4.5% in February 2020

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