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Date:March 10, 2011
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Nonfarm Jobs Show Over-the-Year Gains in January

BATON ROUGE –Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm job count added 9,500 jobs in January 2011 compared to January 2010, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) reported today.

A federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey of employers shows a total of 1,887,200 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in January, down 3,200 jobs over the month, but up 9,500 over the year. Private industry sectors gained 18,900 seasonally adjusted jobs over the year, while government shed 9,400 jobs.

A separate BLS survey of residences in January estimates Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work – stayed relatively flat over the month but grew 24,052 over the year to 2,088,377. The household survey shows the number of people employed in January was 1,926,461, a decrease of 2,753 from December, but 8,865 more than January 2010. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in January was 161,916, an increase of 1,898 from December 2010.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2011 was 7.8 percent. The preliminary rate for December was 8.0 percent, but BLS has revised it down to 7.7 percent. Louisiana’s unemployment rate was tied with Arkansas for both the 19th lowest in the nation and fourth lowest in the South Region. The national rate in January was 9.0 percent, and the rate for the South Region was 9.2 percent. The unemployment rate is based on the BLS survey of residences.

The revision of the December unemployment rate is based on BLS’s annual benchmarking of its surveys to align them with actual employment counts over the year.

“This year’s job numbers for January are in line with the job pattern seen in previous Januarys,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink. “Our continued gain in private sector jobs over last year shows we’re continuing to move in the right direction.”

Not seasonally adjusted rates are used to compare unemployment rates among parishes and metro areas. Unadjusted employment rates in January typically reflect people leaving seasonal jobs, such as those related to Christmas hires in retail sales and shipping, and the end of the fall semester on college and university campuses. In Louisiana, the January 2011 unadjusted unemployment rate was 8.6 percent, up from the revised December 2010 rate of 7.2 percent. All eight metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the state also recorded increases in unemployment rates. The U.S. unadjusted rate also increased, going from 9.1 percent in December to 9.8 percent in January.

Statewide, the unadjusted nonfarm job count for January showed 1,873,500 jobs, down 25,800 from December but up 16,900 over the year. Since January 2010, the state has gained 26,400 private sector jobs, with nine of the 10 private industry sectors showing over-the-year increases.

The New Orleans MSA had the largest over-the-year job gain among metro areas, with a gain of 6,300 nonfarm jobs from January 2010. Houma gained 3,800 jobs over the year followed by Lafayette with 2,700 more jobs; Shreveport, 2,100 more jobs; and Alexandria, 400 jobs. Monroe, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles recorded over-the-year nonfarm job decreases of 1,100, 800 and 500, respectively.

For more detailed information on January 2011 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at www.laworks.net 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.