The Louisiana State University of Alexandria College of Business releases its September 2022 issue of the Central Louisiana Economic Dashboard.
“Employment has remained relatively strong throughout the summer,” says Randall Dupont, Dean of the LSUA College of Business. According to preliminary data from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the June employment level was revised upward while July’s employment of 63,763 was the second highest post-pandemic.
“The labor market remains strong,” says Dupont, “despite the possibility of a slowdown from rising interest rates.” The Alexandria MSA unemployment rate remained at 3.6% in July, unchanged from the previous month and is still the lowest among the state’s metro areas for the past two years. Natchitoches remained unchanged in July at a 4.9% unemployment rate.
The tight labor market in Alexandria became even tighter this summer as the number of unemployed dropped 2.5% in July from a month earlier, while the number of job openings increased 30%. “Job postings increased throughout the state,” says Dupont, “as employers posted openings in multiple cities in search of workers.” Currently, there are four postings for each unemployed in Alexandria in comparison to the state with four postings for every three unemployed.
Further evidence the labor market in Louisiana is remaining strong for now is the reversal in initial and continued unemployment claims. Since March, initial unemployment insurance claims have been trending up, more than doubling in the period through late July. The upward trend in continued claims began in May. However, initial claims reversed in August, falling -17% while continued claims, which normally lag, fell slightly.
All indicators point to continued strength in the labor market into the fall. Rising interest rates have yet to slow hiring locally.
The Central Louisiana Economic Dashboard is a service of the LSUA College of Business to help business and community leaders monitor the economic pulse of central Louisiana.
To view the September 2022 CENLA Economic Dashboard,click here.
Written by Dr. Randall Dupont | LSUA College of Business
Image credit - LSUA Division of Strategic Communications