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Date:October 26, 2011
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment Rates Drop in All Metro Areas

BATON ROUGE – Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for the state and all metropolitan statistical areas improved in September for the third month in a row as Louisiana recorded its lowest unadjusted unemployment rate since April 2010, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in September from the August 2011 rate of 7.3 percent. The U.S. rate improved to 8.8 percent from the August rate of 9.1 percent. The unemployment rate is developed from a sample survey of residences by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates for the MSAs in September improved over the month for the third month in a row:

Alexandria, 6.5 percent, down from 6.9 percent

Baton Rouge, 7.0 percent, down from 7.6 percent

Houma, 4.7 percent, down from 4.9 percent

Lafayette, 5.2 percent, down from 5.6 percent

Lake Charles, 6.1 percent, down from 6.6 percent

Monroe, 7.2 percent, down from 7.7 percent

New Orleans, 6.9 percent, down from 7.3 percent

Shreveport, 6.3 percent, down from 6.7 percent in August

The household survey estimates of Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – increased by 7,306 over the month to 2,054,638. The not seasonally adjusted estimate shows the number of people employed was up 15,495 in September while the number who were unemployed fell 8,189 to 140,961, the lowest level since April 2010.

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 especially at the MSA level.

A separate BLS survey of Louisiana employers showed the state had an increase of 18,000 not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs over the month and an increase of 41,300 over the year, for a total of 1,924,600 in September. Private industry added 5,600 jobs over the month and 43,300 over the year.

At the MSA level, the Baton Rouge MSA added the most nonfarm jobs over the month with an increase of 4,100 jobs and the New Orleans MSA added the most over the year with a gain of 10,900 jobs.

“These numbers indicate that the overall improvement we’ve been experiencing statewide for a year is consistently spread across every MSA,” LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said.

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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