The New Orleans metro area added 3,200 jobs between January and February to reach 524,600 jobs. But a full recovery has not happened yet, as the region had 66,000 fewer jobs, down 11.1%, compared to a year ago. 

Louisiana statewide 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% less than in February 2020. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

The data was compiled through surveys conducted in mid-February, before the state 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 establishments can have indoors. An ice storm around Mardi Gras that caused widespread power outages and street closures may have had an impact, according to local economists.

Mardi Gras was muted as parades were canceled and bars shuttered to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. There were some still some tourists who booked hotel rooms and trekked across the city. Overall, leisure and hospitality added 1,200 jobs month over month to 62,400 jobs. That’s still down 30,400 jobs, or 32.7% over the year. Inside the sector accommodations added 100 jobs between January and February while food services and drinking places added 1,400 jobs during the same time period. But arts, entertainment and recreation lost 300 jobs during that stint. 

New Orleans has been under more restrictive rules than the rest of Louisiana for months and only recently allowed live music indoors. 

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. 

Mining and logging was flat over the month but lost 700 jobs over the year, or 17%, to 3,400; manufacturing added 200 jobs month over month but lost 400 jobs over the year, or 1.3% to 29,800; trade, transportation and utilities lost 500 jobs over the month to 395,300 which is down 7,500 jobs or 6.7% for the year. Information, which includes the motion picture industry, lost 100 jobs over the month and was down 3,600 jobs over the year, or 40%. Financial activities were up 200 jobs to 28,200, still down 3,100 jobs, or 9.9%, over the year. Other services lost 200 jobs over the month to 21,200 jobs, down 3,300 over the year or, 13.4% while federal state and local government added 200 jobs over the month, still down 3,500 jobs over the year, or 4.7%. 

The New Orleans unemployment rate was 8.6%, down from 9.1% in February but up from 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.

BATON ROUGE: The Capital Region added 3,800 jobs over the month to get up to 388,500 jobs, still down 22,400 jobs, or 5.4%, compared to February 2020. Leisure and hospitality lost 4,900 jobs over the year, or 12.5%, to 34,100 jobs despite adding back 500 jobs between January and February. Construction 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. 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 over the month, but was down 3,000 jobs, or 6%, for the year to 46,900 jobs. 

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Other services, down 1,800 jobs, or 10.5%, to 15,200 jobs. Information was down 800 jobs over the year, or 15%, to 4,500 jobs. Financial activities were down 1,100 jobs, or 6%, over the year to 17,000 jobs. All three sectors were flat month-to-month. 

Manufacturing lost 1,100 jobs over the year, or 3.6%, to 28,900 jobs, despite adding back 100 jobs between January and February. Federal, state and local government collectively added 1,700 jobs, up 2.2%, over the year to 78,800 jobs. 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 was 6.2% in February, down from 6.7% in January but up compared to 3.8% in February 2020.

LAFAYETTE AREA: Acadiana added 800 jobs between January and February to reach 188,200 jobs but was still down 16,300 jobs, or 7.9%, compared to February 2020.

Leisure and hospitality was down 1,800 jobs, or 8.4%, over the year to 19,400 jobs. Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas, was down 400 jobs over the month, which brought the total number of jobs lost over the year to 3,400. That 26.7% drop brought the number of jobs in the sector down 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.

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 remained 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.

That sound you hear is New Orleans nightlife coming back to life, getting a little louder each weekend.



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