Date:May 27, 2009
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana Employment Continues to Outperform the Nation

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s employment picture continued to outperform the nation in April despite a drop in nonfarm jobs, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) announced today.

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in Louisiana declined by 8,300 from April 2008 to April 2009, bringing the total number of jobs in the state to 1,931,800. Over the month, the state experienced a 7,000 nonfarm employment drop.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2009 was 6.2 percent, up from the March 2009 revised rate of 5.8 percent and the year-ago figure of 4.1 percent. The April unemployment rate ranked Louisiana ninth lowest in the nation. The April 2009 unemployment rate for the United States was 8.9 percent, up from the March rate of 8.5 percent.

“We’re more focused on trends than we are on any single month, and Louisiana continues to do better than the nation as a whole, as it has for well over a year,” LWC Executive Director Tim Barfield said. “However, the longer the nation’s economy struggles, the more drag it will have on our economy and labor market and it is clear that we are not immune.”

Louisiana’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – for April was 2,074,611, up from the March revised figure of 2,070,503. The number of employed in April was 1,946,270, down slightly from 1,949,824 in March. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in April 2009 rose to 128,341 from 120,679 in March. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a sample survey by place of residence.

Preliminary seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment by sector for April 2009 was as follows: construction, 140,100, up from 138,500 employed in March; manufacturing, 147,100, up from 147,000; other services, 70,400, up from 69,100; trade, transportation, and utilities, 378,800, down from 381,200; information, 27,600, down from 27,700; financial activities, 92,300, down from 93,400; professional and business services, 201,700, down from 204,300; education and health services, 258,300, down from 259,200; leisure and hospitality, 197,300, down from 199,800; government, 365,300, down 100 over the month; and mining and logging (formerly natural resources and mining), 52,900, down from 53,200.

Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work. Seasonally adjusted data are used to compare states and to compare states to the nation. Not seasonally adjusted data are used to compare areas within the state to each other and to the state as a whole. Not seasonally adjusted April data also showed a loss of 8,000 jobs over the month and 6,700 jobs over the year. They also show job growth over the month in two of the state’s eight MSAs. The number of nonfarm jobs grew by 600 in Alexandria and 200 in Shreveport, held steady in Lake Charles and declined by 500 in Monroe, 2,400 in New Orleans, 2,100 in Baton Rouge, 300 in Houma and 200 in the Lafayette MSA.

“Some parts of the state continued to do well or hold their own, and the number of nonfarm jobs in both Baton Rouge and Houma are up significantly over the year,” Barfield said. “We need to see how the labor market data plays out over the next two or three months to get a clearer idea of how the situation nationally is affecting us.”

Louisiana’s unadjusted unemployment rate, comparable to MSAs and parishes, in April was 5.7 percent, up slightly from the revised March rate of 5.6 percent. The comparable national unemployment rate decreased to 8.6 percent in April, down from 9 percent in March.

Lafourche Parish had the lowest unemployment rate of 3.5 percent last month while West Carroll Parish had the highest rate at 16.1 percent. Please see page three for the MSA rates.

For more detailed information on April 2009 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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