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Date:June 25, 2008
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Louisiana Nonfarm Payrolls Continue to Grow

BATON ROUGE – Seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in Louisiana grew by 30,800 workers from May 2007 to May 2008, bringing the total number of jobs in the state to 1,942,000, the Louisiana Department of Labor announced today. The May 2008 total was unchanged from last month but represents a 1.6 percent increase over last year’s total. Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work.

Monthly unemployment data show Louisiana is the only state in the nation where the unemployment rate dropped from April to May this year. Louisiana’s unemployment rate for May 2008 was 4.0 percent, down slightly from the April 2008 and May 2007 revised rates of 4.1 percent. The May 2008 unemployment rate for the United States was 5.5 percent, up sharply from April’s 5.0 percent rate.

“The nonfarm job gains and the decrease in the unemployment rate show very clearly that Louisiana is maintaining a healthy employment climate,” Louisiana Labor Secretary Tim Barfield said. “Unlike other states that are struggling with high unemployment, our rate is around a 30-year low. The challenge we are addressing is finding people we can train to fill available jobs.”

Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - for May 2008 was 2,008,017, down from the April revised figure of 2,019,333. The number of employed in May was 1,928,537, a decrease from 1,937,317 in April. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in May 2008 decreased to 79,480 from 82,016 for the previous month. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

Unadjusted unemployment rates compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The May 2008 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 3.7 percent, up from the revised April 2008 rate of 3.5 percent. Lafayette, Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.7 percent in May 2008, while West Carroll Parish had the highest rate of 8.4 percent. Please see page three for the MSA rates.

Preliminary seasonally adjusted statewide total nonfarm employment for May 2008 was 1,942,000, unchanged from the revised April 2008 figure. The sector breakdown was as follows: natural resources and mining, 51,400 employed in May 2008, up from 51,200 in April 2008; construction, 137,600, up from 137,200; manufacturing, 157,400, down from 157,700; trade, transportation, and utilities, 384,300, up from 383,600; information, 26,700, up from 26,600; financial activities, 96,900, up from 96,800; professional and business services, 202,900, down from 203,300; educational and health services, 252,500, down from 253,400; leisure and hospitality, 199,400, down from 199,600; other services, 68,900, up from 68,500; and government, 364,000, down from 364,100.

The state seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs were unchanged over the month while the not seasonally adjusted (comparable to the MSAs) lost 1,800 jobs from April 2008. In reviewing the industry sectors, the over- the-month declines reflected seasonal decreases in professional and business services because of the end of the tax season and in education because of the end of the spring semester across the state in community colleges, four-year colleges and university campuses.

Two of the MSAs lost nonfarm employment over the month while four areas had small gains, and the two remaining areas had no change. The total nonfarm employment for the MSAs resulted in changes of 0.6 percent or less in all of the areas over the month. The New Orleans MSA lost 1,700 nonfarm jobs from April to May 2008 mirroring the state’s level of nonfarm employment losses due to seasonal factors.

For more detailed information on May 2008 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the left-side 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.

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.