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News - Details
Date:September 25, 2009
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Much of State Sees Job Gains in August

BATON ROUGE – Six of the eight metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of Louisiana recorded employment gains from July to August, with New Orleans leading the way with 700 new nonfarm jobs, according to information released today by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The Lafayette and Alexandria MSAs each added 500 jobs over the month, and the Houma and Lake Charles MSAs each added 300. Monroe added 100 nonfarm jobs while the Baton Rouge MSA lost 800 jobs and the Shreveport MSA lost 1,300 jobs. MSA data are not seasonally adjusted.

Within industry groups, seasonally adjusted data show specialty trade contractors added 1,000 more workers, food manufacturing added 800, transportation and warehousing grew by 600 and private education services added 2,500.

Louisiana is one of only two states with annual employment gains in the construction industry, with 4,400 jobs added over the year, compared to North Dakota’s 800 additional jobs over the year.

Louisiana’s 7.8 percent unemployment rate in August ranks the state as the 18th lowest in unemployment rate in the nation, with the state beating the national rate of 9.7 percent as well as the Southern regional rate of 9.2 percent, according to information from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Louisiana unemployment rate increased .4 percentage points from July and the U.S. rate increased .3 percentage points. Over the year, the unemployment rate increased in all 50 states.

“We clearly have employment growth in significant parts of the state and industry sectors,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “This is offsetting some of the drag on our state from the national recession.”

Based upon seasonally adjusted employment, the number of jobs in the state shrank slightly to 1,921,000, a decrease of 1,300 from July 2009.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - for August 2009 was 2,065,276, down slightly from the July revised figure of 2,066,449. The number of employed in August was 1,904,414, a decrease from 1,913,627 in July. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in August 2009 rose to 160,862 from 152,822 for the previous month. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

Industry sectors showing gains or no change for August 2009, according to preliminary seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment figures, are:

Construction, 140,900 jobs, up 1,300 from July.

Education and health services, 261,700 jobs, up 2,200.

Government, 370,300 jobs, up 900.

Mining and logging (formerly natural resources and mining), 53,100 jobs, up 900.

Financial activities, 91,600 jobs, unchanged from July.

Industry sectors recording decreases for August 2009:

Manufacturing, 141,100, down 1,200.

Other services, 69,300, down 200.

Trade, transportation, and utilities, 374,100, down 1,400.

Information, 26,900, down 100.

Professional and business services, 200,100, down 700.

Leisure and hospitality, 191,900, down 3,000. Decline in this sector is typical this time of year as amusement and recreational facilities scale back from summer operations.

“The declines in these sectors mirror what is happening across the country as the national recession persists,” said Eysink.

The August seasonally adjusted nonfarm job total represents a decline of 1.5 percent, or 28,500 jobs, compared to August 2008. Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work.

Unadjusted unemployment rates are used to compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The August 2009 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 8.1 percent, up from the revised July 2009 rate of 7.8 percent. Lafourche Parish had the lowest unemployment rate of 5.3 percent in August 2009, while West Carroll Parish had the highest rate of 18.1 percent.

For more detailed information on August 2009 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the top 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.