ALEXANDRIA, La. (WNTZ) – The Louisiana State University of Alexandria College of Business releases its April 2022 issue of the CENLA Economic Dashboard. Local employment continues to be the dominant story.
“Employment in the Alexandria MSA hit another post-pandemic high in February,” says Dr. Randall Dupont, Dean of the LSUA College of Business.
Preliminary employment figures for February show total employment for the Alexandria metro area stood at 63,067, which is the highest level since December 2009. According to Dupont, this marks the fourth time since the pandemic that employment has reached a new high. In February, the labor force for Alexandria was 64,868, with 1,801 unemployed. Job openings were down 278 in February from 6,389 in January.
The unemployment rate for the Alexandria MSA was 2.8% in February, down from 3.1% in January. “Employment may continue to improve in the Spring,” says Dupont. Initial and continued unemployment claims in March are down -14% and -17% respectively. Higher gas prices, inflation, and interest rates are still hanging over the economy. Nevertheless, higher oil prices have been good for Louisiana’s oil production as the number of operational rigs reached sixty the week of March 25, a level not reached since September 2019.
Central Louisiana had a 3.5% unemployment rate in February, down from 3.9% in January and better than the state’s current 3.9%. At 2.8%, the Alexandria MSA continues to have the lowest employment rate among the state’s major metro areas and the tightest labor market. The Louisiana Workforce Commission notes Alexandria currently has 1,801 unemployed for 6,111 job openings. This equates to a ratio of 0.29 workers per job opening, or, in other words, approximately three openings for each unemployed person. Lafayette and Shreveport-Bossier have ratios of 0.43 and 0.50, respectively.
The CENLA 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 April 2022 CENLA Economic Dashboard, click here.