Date:April 29, 2010
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

New Orleans Leads Nation’s Largest Metro Areas in Lowest Unemployment Rate

BATON ROUGE - The New Orleans metro area had the lowest unemployment rate among the nation's largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for the second consecutive month, with Houma ranked No. 1 among all MSAs in the country, according to information released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also showed that all eight MSAs in Louisiana had unemployment rates that ranked among the 40 lowest in the country.

With a 4.6 percent unemployment rate, the Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux area was first among the 372 U.S. metro areas for lowest unemployment rate in the country. Lafayette was tied for fourth with a 5.0 percent unemployment rate, and Alexandria, Lake Charles and Shreveport all tied for 19th at 5.8 percent.

Baton Rouge and New Orleans were tied at 25th lowest rate among all MSAs at 6.0 percent. Rounding out the state’s metro rankings was Monroe, tied for 36th at 6.6 percent.

“This is a very clear sign that our state is moving in the right direction,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. "As a state, our labor markets have been outperforming the nation and the South consistently and these numbers show how our metro areas, where the vast majority of our population lives and works, are contributing and benefiting."

All eight MSAs in the state have recorded decreases in the unemployment rate each month since January. Only 41 MSAs in the country saw unemployment rates drop in March.

Louisiana’s March seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6.9 percent tied for eighth lowest in the nation and was second lowest in the Southern region.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures reflect unemployment rates that are not seasonally adjusted. The BLS news release can be accessed at

For more detailed information on employment data for Louisiana, visit the Louisiana Workforce Commission 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.

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