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Date:June 9, 2008
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Statement of Louisiana Labor Secretary Tim Barfield on Unemployment Figures

BATON ROUGE -- "The news from the federal government about the sharp increase in the national unemployment rate in May is disheartening," Louisiana Labor Secretary Tim Barfield said. "Statewide information for May isn't available yet, but April figures show Louisiana's unemployment rate has been spared from the effects of the national economic downturn."

Louisiana's unemployment rate in April was 4.1 percent, well below the national rate for April of 5.0 percent and even further below the national rate for May of 5.5 percent. Louisiana data also shows the number of unemployed dropped by about 9,200 in April to 82,116, and that the number of nonfarm jobs increased in April by 600 to 1,940,900.

"We're hopeful that the recent changes in ethics laws and business tax rates, the state's aggressive efforts to recruit new businesses and expand existing businesses, and the improvements in workforce development that we're instituting at the Department of Labor will allow us to continue to outperform the national economy," Barfield said.

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