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Date:November 25, 2008
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Nonfarm Payrolls Bounce Back

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana saw an increase of 5,000 jobs in the seasonally adjusted number of nonfarm jobs from September to October 2008, the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today.

Furthermore, the October nonfarm job total of 1,945,700 people working represents an increase of 9,700 jobs over October 2007. Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate for October 2008 was 5.5 percent, up from both the September 2008 revised rate of 5.2 percent and the year-ago figure of 3.6 percent. Over the year, jobless rates were up in 47 states and the District of Columbia. The October 2008 unemployment rate for the United States was 6.5 percent, up from the September 2008 rate of 6.1 percent.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – for October 2008 was 2,061,900, up from the September revised figure of 2,053,649. The number of employed in October was 1,947,552, up slightly from 1,947,169 in September. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in October 2008 rose to 114,348 from 106,480 for September. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

“It appears that the hurricanes did have a significant effect on our employment in September, and that we’ve rebounded considerably from that,” said Tim Barfield, Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “The growth in the Louisiana workforce, both the number of people working and the number looking for work, indicates our economy is still growing and outperforming the nation.”

The nonfarm employment and civilian labor force numbers are based on surveys conducted during the second week of October.

Unadjusted unemployment rates are used to compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The October 2008 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 5.3 percent, up from the revised September 2008 rate of 5.2 percent. Lafayette Parish had the lowest unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in October 2008, while East Carroll Parish had the highest rate of 10.9 percent. Please see page three for the MSA rates.

Preliminary seasonally adjusted statewide total nonfarm employment for October 2008 was 1,945,700, up 5,000 from the revised September 2008 figure of 1,940,700. The sector breakdown was as follows: natural resources and mining, 52,000 employed in October 2008, down from 52,100 in September 2008; construction, 139,100, up from 137,500; manufacturing, 154,800, down from 155,500; trade, transportation, and utilities, 386,000, up from 385,700; information, 26,600, up from 26,400; financial activities, 98,200, up from 96,700; professional and business services, 202,600, up from 201,900; educational and health services, 253,500, up from 253,400; leisure and hospitality, 198,500, up from 197,300; other services, 69,600, unchanged from a month ago; and government, 364,800 up from 364,600.

Seven of the eight MSAs posted nonfarm employment gains over the month while the Monroe MSA remained unchanged.

For more detailed information on October 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.