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Date:January 22, 2010
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Louisiana’s December Unemployment Rate Shows Stable Trend

BATON ROUGE – The state’s unemployment rate in December was 7.5 percent, returning to levels seen for most of the second half of 2009, the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate is tied for 14th lowest in the nation and third lowest in the Southern region. The Southern region rate for December was 9.6 percent, and the U.S. rate was 10 percent. Louisiana was one of 43 states and the District of Columbia with over-the-month unemployment increases.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in July, September and October, 7.8 percent in August and 6.7 percent in November.

“The trend shows a fairly even picture going back to July 2009, and it shows we’ve consistently outperformed the nation and the South,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink.

The New Orleans metropolitan statistical area (MSA) led the state with an increase of 1,500 nonfarm jobs over the month.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - for December 2009 was 2,049,802, down 5,294 from November revised figures. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

The state’s December nonfarm job total of 1,901,700 reflects an over-the-month decline of 5,900 jobs and a 2.4 percent drop over the year. Nationally, the number of jobs declined 3 percent over the year.

The educational and health services sector continued its growth trend, gaining 500 jobs over the month. Leisure and hospitality was up 500 jobs, and information was up 200 jobs. Those gains were offset by job losses in manufacturing, down 1,100 jobs; and trade, transportation, and utilities – which includes retail trade – which recorded a loss of 2,300 jobs. Retail trade experienced a loss of 200 jobs statewide, its first December decline in the decade. In addition, construction lost 1,600 jobs and three sectors each lost 700 jobs: professional and business services, government, and other services.

Nonfarm jobs are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work.

Please see Page 2 for the full listing of MSA and parish rates. Parish unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

For more detailed information on December 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.

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.