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Date:October 27, 2010
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State, MSA Unemployment Rates Drop in September

BATON ROUGE – Unemployment rates decreased in all eight Louisiana metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and for the state in September in keeping with seasonal back-to-school employment gains, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today.

Unemployment rates for the MSAs in September:

• Alexandria, 7.3 percent, down from 7.8 percent in August

• Baton Rouge, 7.8 percent, down from 8.2 percent

• Houma, 5.5 percent, down from 5.9 percent

• Lafayette, 6.2 percent, down from 6.6 percent

• Lake Charles, 7.3 percent, down from 7.6 percent

• Monroe, 8.2 percent, down from 8.6 percent

• New Orleans, 7.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent

• Shreveport, 7.4 percent, down from 7.7 percent

Parish and MSA unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Unadjusted rates are used to compare MSAs, parishes and counties to each other and to states and the nation. Statewide, the unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent from the revised August rate of 8.1 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate for September was 9.2 percent.

A sample survey of households by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the state’s unadjusted civilian labor force grew by 56,807 workers over the year to 2,119,923. The number of workers employed also increased over the year to 1,955,041, an increase of 40,327 workers from September 2009. At the same time, the number of unemployed increased to 164,882, up 16,480 from a year ago.

A separate survey of employers recorded the fourth consecutive month of over-the-year increases in nonfarm jobs, with an unadjusted September total of 1,900,100, an increase of 18,100 nonfarm jobs since 2009. Over the month, job totals increased by 5,100, fueled by gains in the service-providing sector.

“The private sector continues to drive annual gains in jobs throughout the state,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “We have 24,100 more jobs in the private service-providing sector this year compared to last September.”

Baton Rouge and Lafayette both had nonfarm job gains over the month, with a gain of 2,300 jobs in Baton Rouge and 200 jobs in Lafayette. Over the year, there has been an increase of 3,300 nonfarm jobs in New Orleans, 1,700-job increase in Lafayette, 1,200 more nonfarm jobs in Lake Charles and 1,100 more jobs in Shreveport.

For more detailed information on September 2010 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the top right 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.

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