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Date:December 23, 2008
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Louisiana’s November Employment Among the Strongest

BATON ROUGE – November data shows Louisiana’s unemployment rate decreased and its seasonally adjusted number of nonfarm jobs increased, indicating that Louisiana continues to buck national employment trends, the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today.

The seasonally adjusted number of nonfarm jobs – 1,947,600 – was up 1,700 over October 2008 and it was up 8,300 over November 2007.

The November unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, better than the October 2008 revised rate of 5.6 percent. The November 2008 unemployment rate for the United States was 6.7 percent, up from the October 2008 rate of 6.5 percent.

Louisiana is one of only five states with a decrease in unemployment rate and only one of nine with an increase in nonfarm employment, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“These are all welcome signs during a period when the economy nationally is struggling,” LWC Executive Director Tim Barfield said. “However, we’re watching the employment picture very closely because we know that the national economy is affecting Louisiana in ways that may not yet be fully reflected in these numbers.”

For instance, many of the people affected by recent layoffs at the General Motors plant in Shreveport and the International Paper mill in Bastrop are not receiving unemployment benefits yet because of their severance packages.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – for November 2008 was 2,051,327, down from the October revised figure of 2,061,993. The number of employed in November was 1,941,682, down from 1,947,532 in October. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in November 2008 fell to 109,645 from 114,461 in October. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

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

Unadjusted unemployment rates are used to compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The November 2008 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 5.0 percent, down from the revised October 2008 rate of 5.3 percent. Lafayette Parish had the lowest unemployment rate of 3.4 percent in November 2008; in contrast, Morehouse Parish, where the IP mill closed, had the highest rate of 11.7 percent. Please see page three for the MSA rates.

Preliminary seasonally adjusted statewide total nonfarm employment for November 2008 was 1,947,600, up 1,700 from the revised October 2008 figure of 1,945,900. The sector breakdown was as follows: natural resources and mining, 51,800 employed in November 2008, down from 52,000 in October 2008; construction, 140,600, up from 139,100; manufacturing, 154,400, down from 154,600; trade, transportation, and utilities, 385,700, down from 385,800; information, 26,700, up from 26,600; financial activities, 97,900, down from 98,100; professional and business services, 203,000, up from 202,700; educational and health services, 253,900, up from 253,800; leisure and hospitality, 198,800, up from 198,600; other services, 69,500, unchanged from a month ago; and government, 365,300 up from 365,100.

Five of the eight MSAs posted nonfarm employment gains over the month, two remained unchanged and only the Lake Charles MSA posted a modest job loss.

For more detailed information on November 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.

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