Date:May 25, 2010
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Civilian Employment Reaches 16-Month High in April

BATON ROUGE – The civilian labor force in Louisiana grew by 22,194 people from March to April and the number employed grew by 20,337, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today.

The number of Louisianians employed in April - 1,958,594 people - reached its highest level since December 2008 and the size of the labor force - 2,087,455 people - reached its highest level since July 2009.

“A larger labor force is good news for employers and the increase in employment for the third month in a row is also good news for our citizens," LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said. "But we should all be concerned about how much impact the oil disaster in the Gulf will have on employment. The effects are being felt in coastal parishes already and will spread farther and to more industries the longer the well continues to leak oil into the water."

The April labor force numbers are based on surveys taken by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics in April before the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

For the month of April, unemployment rates for the state’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) remained steady in Alexandria and Lafayette and went up slightly elsewhere:

Alexandria, unchanged from March at 5.8 percent

Baton Rouge, 6.0 percent, compared to revised March rate of 5.9 percent

Houma, 4.6 percent, up from revised March rate of 4.5 percent

Lafayette, 5.0 percent, unchanged from March

Lake Charles, 6.0 percent, up from 5.8 percent

Monroe, 6.6 percent, up from 6.5 percent

New Orleans, 6.1 percent, up from 6.0 percent

Shreveport, 5.8 percent, up from revised March rate of 5.7 percent

At the parish level, unemployment rates decreased in 28 parishes and were unchanged in 13 parishes. Lafourche Parish had the lowest April unemployment rate at 4.4 percent. West Carroll Parish had the greatest percentage drop over the month, going from 16.6 percent in March to 14.6 percent in April.

Parish and MSA unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. The not seasonally adjusted statewide rate for April was 6.2 percent, up slightly from the revised March rate of 6.1 percent. The national unadjusted unemployment rate for April was 9.5 percent. Unadjusted rates are used to compare MSAs, parishes and counties to each other and to states and the nation. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey and includes agricultural workers as well as the self employed.

The unadjusted nonfarm employment level of 1,893,300 for April - based on a separate sample survey of businesses - showed no change from the revised March employment estimate.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted employment rate of 6.7 percent for April was tied for seventh lowest in the nation and the second lowest in the Southern region. Seasonally adjusted rates are used to compare states and the nation.

For more detailed information on April 2010 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select Monthly Employment Bulletin – Workforce At A Glance or Monthly Employment Statistics Press Release for the latest monthly nonfarm and labor force data.

Note: This revision date does not reflect the revision date of the press release shown. Press Release postings are updated as needed and should be considered accurate as shown.