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Date:September 25, 2012
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment Rate Continues To Drop for All Metro Areas

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates improved in every Louisiana metropolitan statistical area and 63 parishes in August, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the private sector added jobs at an annual rate of 2.5 percent, ranking Louisiana 8th nationally in private sector employment.

The not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force - an estimate of the number of people working or looking for work - was 2,086,428 in August, an increase of 23,757 from a year ago. The civilian labor force is estimated from a sample survey of residences taken by BLS each month.

August unemployment rates and the improvements since July for all Louisiana MSAs are:

Alexandria, 7.2 percent, down from 8.0 percent in July

Baton Rouge, 7.2 percent, down from 8.0 percent

Houma, 4.9 percent, down from 5.4 percent

Lafayette, 5.0 percent, down from 5.5 percent

Lake Charles, 6.7 percent, down from 7.4 percent

Monroe, 8.1 percent, down from 8.7 percent

New Orleans, 7.5 percent, down from 8.1 percent

Shreveport, 7.2 percent, down from 7.7 percent

Parish and MSA unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. These rates are used to compare MSAs, parishes and counties to each other and to states and the nation.

An annual increase in the number of people employed, together with a decrease in unemployed, resulted in the state's unadjusted unemployment rate decreasing to 7.3 percent in August 2012 from the August 2011 rate of 7.6 percent. Over the month, the unemployment rate declined by 0.6 percent from the July rate of 7.9 percent. The number of people unemployed in August was 151,581, a decrease of 16,482 over the month and 4,883 over the year. The number of people employed in August increased by 28,640 over the year and decreased by 13,970 over the month to a total of 1,934,847.

"It's encouraging that the improvements in employment are spread across the state," said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink.

A separate BLS survey of Louisiana employers shows the state had a not seasonally adjusted increase of 1,700 nonfarm jobs over the month and 39,300 over the year for a total of 1,934,400 in August.

Private industry sectors dropped 400 jobs over the month but added 38,700 jobs, or 2.5 percent, over the year. The government sector - local, state and federal combined -- gained 2,100 jobs over the month and 600 jobs over the year. Much of the increase in government jobs resulted from the opening of schools and colleges for the fall.

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.

For more detailed information on August 2012 employment data for Louisiana, visit our website 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.

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

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