Date:September 24, 2010
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Private Sector Jobs Pushing Yearly Growth

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s civilian labor force continued its over-the-year improvement last month as the seasonally unadjusted total of 2,119,637 is the highest August total on record, the Louisiana Workforce Commission said today.

The August 2010 total civilian labor force is 37,731 higher than the 2,081,906 total from August 2009. A sample survey of residences by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is used to estimate the civilian labor force.

Based on a separate BLS survey of employers, the total number of nonfarm jobs in Louisiana decreased by 1,800 from July to August. This is primarily due to the continued winding down of the federal census effort along with the traditional August lag in hotel activity. The total nonfarm job count of 1,893,200 in August was 13,600 more than the job total in August 2009.

“We continue to see over-the-year gains in the number of jobs and people in the labor force,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “The fact that private sector jobs are fueling the yearly growth is a positive sign.”

There are 13,700 more private sector nonfarm jobs in Louisiana than a year ago, with service-providing jobs driving the increase. Education and health services, along with professional and business services, have had the largest over-the-year gains, with the two industry sectors respectively gaining 11,300 and 5,800 jobs from August 2009.

Among the state’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonfarm job gains over the month were seen in Baton Rouge, 400 jobs; Shreveport and Houma, each 300 jobs; and Lafayette, 200 jobs. The Monroe MSA remained stable over the month and over the year. The remaining three MSAs – New Orleans, Lake Charles and Alexandria – recorded monthly job decreases of 1,400, 300 and 100, respectively. The New Orleans job decrease included a loss of 600 jobs in the accommodations and food services industry and 800 federal jobs, mostly due to the ending of census work.

Looking at over-the-year nonfarm job totals, New Orleans has gained 1,900 jobs, Lafayette added 1,500 jobs, Shreveport increased by 1,400, and Lake Charles gained 1,100.

The number of unemployed young adults in August who were caught between the end of their summer employment and waiting for the fall semester to begin was one of the factors that resulted in an increase in unemployment rates over the month. Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent in August from 7.6 in July. All but three parishes and each MSA in the state recorded an increase in their unemployment rate as the number of individuals, 16 years and older, who were either working or actively looking for work increased from July to August. MSA and parish unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Unadjusted rates are used to compare MSAs, parishes and counties to each other and to states and the nation. The U.S. unemployment rate for August was 9.5 percent.

High-wage jobs in the goods-producing sectors of mining, construction and manufacturing added 2,000 employees over the month, while the loss of 2,100 federal workers statewide as the 2010 census effort winds down helped to contribute to a 3,800-job decline in service-providing jobs across the state from July to August.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted rate, used to compare states and the nation, was 7.6 percent in August. Louisiana’s August rate was the 17th lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

For more detailed information on August 2010 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand 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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