A survey of residences shows Louisiana's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force---the number of people working or looking for work--grew to 2,083,064 in December, the largest the labor force has been since November 2005. The number of people working increased to 1,968,226 in December, up 49,757 over the year. The number of unemployed dropped to 114,838 in December, a decrease of 29,382 over the year.
A separate survey of employers showed that Louisiana's private sector added 26,800 jobs over the year to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,591,000 jobs, extending the state's streak of private sector employment gains over the year to 28 consecutive months. Total seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment in December was 1,950,500 in Louisiana, an increase of 23,500 over the year, but down 11,400 from the previous month.
"Our workforce continues to grow and get stronger, and that helps employers grow and prosper in our state," Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink said. "Louisiana has become one of the best states where you can get a job or grow a business."
Louisiana's 5.5 percent unemployment rate was 0.3 percent lower than in November and was 1.5 percent lower than the state's revised rate for December 2011.