Date:May 21, 2010
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

State Continues to Gain Jobs; Unemployment Rate Falls Again

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved to 6.7 percent in April and nonfarm employment in the state grew by 900 jobs from March to a total of 1,888,500 jobs in April, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC).

Louisiana’s April unemployment rate was tied for seventh lowest in the nation and the second lowest in the Southern region. The Southern region rate for April was 9.6 percent. The April 2010 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the United States was 9.9 percent, up from the March rate of 9.7 percent. Louisiana’s March rate was 6.9 percent.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - for April 2010 was 2,091,602, a gain of 7,090 from March. The number of people employed in April increased over the month by 10,636 to 1,951,483. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in April 2010 was 140,119, a decrease of 3,546 from March. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

“These key labor force indicators have shown improvement for the third consecutive month,” said Curt Eysink, LWC executive director. “Three months of growth is very positive. However, we are expecting a significant impact from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The extent of that impact depends on how much the oil spill affects our coastal ecology and industries in our state, such as the fisheries, offshore oil and gas exploration and production and the hospitality and tourism industry. We can’t estimate the full impact as long as the oil continues to flow.”

Six industry sectors recorded job gains for the month: education and health services, 274,500, up 2,200 jobs; trade, transportation, and utilities, 365,200, up 1,100 workers; professional and business services, 192,700, up 1,100; mining and logging, up 900; manufacturing, up 800; and financial activities, 88,900, up 700 jobs. Sectors with declines for the month were construction, which fell by 2,100 jobs to 121,300; leisure and hospitality, 197,000, down 1,900 jobs; government, down 1,500; and information, down 400. The other services industry sector, which includes repair and maintenance and personal and laundry services, held steady at 69,100 jobs. Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work.

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