Acadiana added 800 jobs, still over 16,000 jobs below total from a year ago | Business

The Acadiana region added 800 jobs between January and February as the region as the region continues its slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The area 188,200 jobs in February, which was still down 16,300 jobs, or a drop of 7.9%, since February 2020. 

Louisiana added 14,700 jobs month-to-month, for a total of 1.8 million, according to data released Wednesday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. That’s still down 158,000 jobs, or 7.9% from February 2020. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

The data was compiled through surveys conducted in mid-February which was before Louisiana removed capacity restrictions on most businesses for the first time in more than a year. Even so, social distancing requirements still restrict how many customers many establishments across the state can have indoors. Live music indoors has also returned with some limitations. 

A severe ice storm, which led to widespread power outages and road closures for a few days around Mardi Gras may have had an impact, according to local economists. 

The leisure and hospitality sector in Acadiana is still down 1,800 jobs — or 8.4% lower — than a the 19,400 jobs it had a year ago. 

Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas, was down another 400 jobs for the month, and 3,400 jobs over the year. The 26.7% decrease brought the number of jobs to 9,300. 

The unemployment rate in Lafayette was 6.5% in February, down from 7% in January but up from 4.2% in February 2020.

In Baton Rouge, leisure and hospitality sector also still has not fully recovered and was down 4,900 jobs over the year, or 12.5%, to 34,100, despite adding back 500 jobs between January and February. Construction has improved month over month, adding back 1,200 jobs since January but was still down 7,100 jobs, or 14.6%, for the year to 41,400 jobs overall. 

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Education and health services, was down 3,100 jobs, or 5.6%, to 51,900 jobs for the year and had 300 fewer than in January. Professional and business services added 100 jobs since January, but was still down 3,000 jobs, or 6%, for the year to 46,900.

Federal, state and local government collectively added 1,700 jobs, up 2.2%, over the year to 78,800 jobs. Those gains were led by an increase in state government which grew 7.8% while local government contracted by 4.5% over the year. 

Trade, transportation and utilities lost 800 jobs over the year, down 1.1%, to 69,100 but added 600 jobs since January. 

The Baton Rouge unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, was 6.2% in February, down from 6.7% in January but up compared to 3.8% in February 2020.

Louisiana’s February unemployment rate was 7.1%, down from 7.6% in January but up from 4.2% in February 2020. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.6% compared to 3.8% one year ago.

In New Orleans, the Crescent City metro area added 3,200 jobs between January and February to hit 524,600 jobs, which was down 66,000 jobs, or 11.1%, compared to a year ago. Leisure and hospitality added 1,200 jobs month-to-month for 62,400 jobs, down 30,400 jobs, or 32.7% over the year.

Education and health services added 400 jobs month-to-month to 101,700 but was down 3,600 jobs over the year, or 3.4%. Professional, scientific and technical services added 1,500 jobs month-to-month but was down 6,500 jobs, or 8.2%, over the year to 72,100 jobs. Construction added 300 jobs month-to-month but was down 3,400 jobs over the year, or 11.8% to 25,300. The New Orleans unemployment rate was 8.6%, down from 9.1% in February but up from 3.8% in February 2020.

OTHER AREAS: Monroe lost 400 jobs month-to-month and lost 4,600 jobs over the year to 73,200; Alexandria was flat over the month and lost 1,900 jobs over the year to 59,600; Hammond added 300 jobs over the month to 45,300 jobs, still down 1,300 jobs over the year; Houma-Thibodaux added 500 jobs over the month but was down 5,700 jobs over the year to 81,100; Shreveport-Bossier City added 900 jobs month-to-month but was still down 13,500 jobs over the year to 165,700; Lake Charles added 1,400 jobs over the month but lost 18,800 jobs over the year to 91,400.

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