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Date:June 15, 2012
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana Labor Force and Employment Grow in May

BATON ROUGE – The civilian labor force and employment in Louisiana continued to grow in May, according to federal figures released today.

The civilian labor force – a measure of the number of people working plus the number looking for work – grew by 6,897 over the month and 19,990 over the year to a seasonally adjusted total of 2,076,936. The number of people employed statewide increased on a seasonally adjusted basis by 4,056 over the month and by 22,099 over the year to a total of 1,927,249 in May. The number of unemployed was up by 2,841 over the month and down by 2,109 over the year to a total of 149,687 in May.

Based on those numbers, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in May, up 0.1 percent over the month and down 0.2 percent over the year. The May rate for the South was 7.7 percent and for the nation, 8.2 percent.

“Our growing employment reinforces nearly two years of consistently good news about Louisiana’s labor markets,” said Curt Eysink, LWC executive director.

In May, the LWC reported calculation errors by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on the results of a separate survey used to determine nonfarm employment. As a result, the LWC chose not to include April nonfarm employment data in that press release. BLS has since corrected its nonfarm estimates for Louisiana for the period April 2010 through April 2012. A list of corrections can be found on the BLS website at:

BLS’s revised figures do not change the growth trend in nonfarm jobs that the LWC has reported for nearly two years.

“The corrected data still show the same pattern of jobs growth over the year and steady private sector growth,” Eysink said.

According to BLS, Louisiana’s total seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for April 2012 was 1,948,900. The number of seasonally adjusted private sector jobs for April 2012 was 1,587,700. Louisiana’s total seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for May was 1,944,700, a decrease of 4,200 jobs over the month but an increase of 43,700 jobs over the year. Seasonally adjusted private sector jobs in May totaled 1,583,700, up 42,200 jobs over the year.

Last year, BLS implemented a new method to estimate nonfarm employment that greatly reduces state input into the results. The effect has been greater variability from one month to the next, particularly for areas that are smaller than the state, such as metropolitan statistical areas, and for industry sectors or subsectors.

The BLS data shows the largest declines in jobs over the month were in trade, transportation, and utilities (down 3,900 jobs to 378,800) and education and health services (down 2,200 jobs to 287,300). These losses were offset in part by over-the-month gains in financial activities (up 2,200 jobs to 99,700), leisure and hospitality (up 1,600 jobs to 209,200), and professional and business services (up 1,800 to 201,800).

Not seasonally adjusted estimates for MSAs and parishes will be released on Friday, June 22. For more detailed information on April or May 2012 employment data for Louisiana, visit the LWC website at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select Labor Force Summaries or Nonfarm Employment.

To view the BLS nonfarm estimates for the state, click here: .

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.