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Date:October 23, 2009
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All Louisiana MSAs Record Unemployment Drop in September

BATON ROUGE – All eight of Louisiana’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) saw unemployment rates drop in September, according to information released today by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Monroe’s unemployment rate made the biggest improvement from August to September, going from 9.2 percent to 8.2 percent. The Houma MSA unemployment rate was the lowest in the state at 5.1 percent. All MSAs were below the 9.5 national rate for not seasonally adjusted unemployment for September. The state’s unemployment rate improved to 7.4 percent compared to the not seasonally adjusted August rate of 8.1 percent.

The seasonally adjusted September unemployment rate for the state, released Wednesday, was also 7.4 percent, a 0.4 percent decrease from August. The September unemployment rate ranked Louisiana the 18th lowest in the nation.

Louisiana MSAs and their September 2009 and revised August 2009 unemployment rates are:

Alexandria MSA, Sept 2009, 7.0, Revised Aug 2009, 7.7

Baton Rouge MSA, Sept 2009, 7.1, Revised Aug 2009, 7.7

Houma MSA, Sept 2009, 5.1, Revised Aug 2009, 5.5

Lafayette MSA, Sept 2009, 6.2, Revised Aug 2009, 6.7

Lake Charles MSA, Sept 2009, 7.1, Revised Aug 2009, 7.5

Monroe MSA, Sept 2009, 8.2, Revised Aug 2009, 9.2

New Orleans MSA, Sept 2009, 7.3, Revised Aug 2009, 7.7

Shreveport MSA, Sept 2009, 7.6, Revised Aug 2009, 8.5

On the parish level, Lafourche Parish had the lowest unemployment rate of 4.9 percent last month.

The Shreveport and Monroe MSAs each added 300 nonfarm workers over the month, and the Baton Rouge area gained 100 jobs. The Lake Charles MSA remained unchanged, while Alexandria, Houma, Lafayette and New Orleans MSAs saw nonfarm employment decrease by 1 percent or less over the month.

For the state, Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted nonfarm job total in September was 1,908,100, down 900 jobs from August. Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work.

Increases over the month were seen in education and health care services, with 2,600 more jobs for a September total of 262,200. The start of the fall school year also influenced the gain by 6,400 in the government sector, while professional and business services increased by 700.

“Louisiana has continued to generate jobs in the construction, health care and education sectors during the economic downturn. These positive gains in employment continue to buck the national trend,” says Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Louisiana continues to lead the nation in annual employment gains in the construction industry, with an increase of 2,900 jobs over September 2008.

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