Date:March 25, 2011
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Over-the-Year Nonfarm Job Gains Largest Since Gustav

BATON ROUGE – A gain of 3,000 construction jobs from January to February contributed to the largest over-the-year gain in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in Louisiana in more than two years, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) said today.

A survey of Louisiana employers by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed the state had an increase of 4,200 nonfarm jobs over the month for a total of 1,891,300 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in February, up 17,300 over the year, the highest since Hurricane Gustav. Private industry sectors gained 5,000 jobs over the month and 25,100 over the year, while government shed 7,800 jobs compared to last year.

Louisiana has experienced over-the-year gains in seasonally adjusted jobs for five consecutive months.

A separate BLS survey of residences in February estimates Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work – grew 12,441 over the year to 2,082,903. The seasonally adjusted estimate shows the number of people employed in February was 1,917,942, down 8,507 from January and down 4,738 from February 2010. It shows the number of unemployed in February was 164,961, up 3,074 from January.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2011 was 7.9 percent, little changed from the revised January rate of 7.8 percent. Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 20th lowest in the nation and fifth lowest in the South Region. The national rate in February was 8.9 percent, and the rate for the South Region was 9.1 percent.

The unadjusted count of nonfarm jobs – used to compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to each other and the state – was greater than the seasonally adjusted jobs count and also showed the largest gains since August 2008. According to the unadjusted survey results, employers reported adding 12,500 jobs from January to February and 21,200 jobs since February 2010. The over-the-year gain includes an increase of 30,700 private sector jobs and a decline of 9,500 government jobs. The unadjusted jobs total last month was 1,885,900.

The seasonally unadjusted household survey results show all parishes and MSAs experienced a decrease in the number of people unemployed from January. In addition, 63 parishes experienced a decrease in unemployment rates and one parish, West Carroll, had no change in its rate. Louisiana’s unadjusted unemployment rate for February 2011 was 8.0 percent, down from the revised January 2011 rate of 8.6 percent. The national unadjusted unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.

February unemployment rates for every Louisiana MSA dropped by at least a half of a percentage point from revised January numbers:

Alexandria, 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent in January

Baton Rouge, 8.1 percent, down from 8.7 percent

Houma, 5.8 percent, down from 6.3 percent

Lafayette, 6.3 percent, down from 6.8 percent

Lake Charles, 7.3 percent, down from 8.0 percent

Monroe, 8.4 percent, down from 9.0 percent

New Orleans, 7.8 percent, down from 8.4 percent

Shreveport, 7.2 percent, down from 7.8 percent

Please see Page 3 for the MSA rates. For more detailed information on February 2011 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the top right 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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