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Date:October 21, 2011
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Rate in More Than Two Years

BATON ROUGE – The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in September, the lowest rate since July 2009, the Louisiana Workforce Commission said today.

A survey of Louisiana employers by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 12 consecutive months of over-the-year gains in nonfarm private sector jobs, with 47,100 more private sector jobs in the state than a year ago. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment totaled 1,927,500 jobs in September, reflecting an over-the-year increase of 44,900 total nonfarm jobs. The state also added 14,100 nonfarm jobs over the month, with 9,100 of them in the private sector.

“The numbers show that Louisiana’s employment picture is improving significantly,” LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said. “The best information in these numbers lies in what they tell us about trends, and the trends are all very positive for Louisiana.”

A separate BLS survey of households is used to estimate the state’s civilian labor force, the number of people employed and unemployed, and the unemployment rate. Louisiana was one of 25 states in the nation with a decrease in the unemployment rate in September. The state’s rate at 6.9 percent was the 13th lowest in the nation tied with Minnesota and was the third lowest in the Southern region. The Southern region rate for September was 9.1 percent. The national rate remained unchanged at 9.1 percent.

According to the household survey, the number of unemployed in September was at its lowest point since June 2009, decreasing to 141,180. The state’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force -- the number of people working or looking for work -- for September 2011 was 2,038,445, up 6,372 over the month. The number of people employed in September increased 11,802 over the year to 1,897,265.

The September 2011 nonfarm estimates are the seventh monthly set produced by BLS using a new methodology that reduces state input. The use of the new methodology makes it difficult to compare results to reports produced previously and, according to BLS, may result in an increase in monthly variability.

The employer survey showed industry sectors with annual job gains were: Education and health services, 291,000, up 18,700 jobs over-the-year; manufacturing, up 8,100 jobs to 144,100; trade, transportation, and utilities, 370,400, up 7,300 workers; construction, up 4,700 jobs to 125,800; leisure and hospitality, 198,100, up 3,300; both mining and logging at, 54,500 and financial activities at 95,100 added 1,900 jobs annually; information, 29,200, up, 1,200; and professional and business services, increased 800 jobs to 195,100 since September 2010. In addition to the over-the-year 2,200-job decrease in government, annual declines were also in other services, of 800 to 65,300 for September 2011.

Not seasonally adjusted statewide, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and parish data will be released on Wednesday, Oct. 26. For more detailed information on September 2011 employment data for Louisiana, visit the LWC website at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select LOIS (Louisiana Occupational Information System) and Employment and Wage Data listed under Historical Data Analysis.

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