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%