Baton Rouge metro adds nearly 9,000 jobs in May; jobless rate decreases

    After losing thousands of jobs to pandemic-related closures earlier this spring, Baton Rouge metropolitan area businesses are beginning to hire again, adding 8,900 jobs in May. 

    Despite the gain, the MSA still has 44,300 fewer jobs than last year. 

    Posting a 42% year-over-year decrease, department stores were the top loser of jobs by percentage in the metro, followed by the leisure and hospitality industries, according to data released today by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. 

    Several industries in the region re-added thousands of jobs last month, including in construction, retail, education and health services, and hospitality. Despite the recent gains, each of the industries is still posting several thousand jobs fewer than were available last year. Some industries—such as wholesale trade, transportation and professional businesses—did not post any job gains in jobs for the month and year, only losses. 

    Regardless, the Baton Rouge MSA unemployment rate of 11.8%, which fell from 13% in April, remains lower than both the state unemployment rate and many of the other metros in the state, including New Orleans, Hammond, Shreveport-Bossier City, and Lafayette. The statewide unemployment rate is 13.1%.

    Statewide, nonfarming employment marked its 12th consecutive month of year-over-year losses, with 237,000 fewer jobs reported for May compared to last year. Leading in losses is the mining and logging industry, which marked its lowest employment level since 1990 last month. See the full report.

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