Date:September 21, 2011
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment Rates Improve in State, All Metro Areas for Second Straight Month

BATON ROUGE – Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for the state and all metropolitan statistical areas improved in August for the second month in a row as Louisiana recorded its lowest unemployment rate of the year, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported today.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved significantly to 7.3 percent in August from the July 2011 rate of 7.9 percent. The U.S. rate improved to 9.1 percent from July’s rate of 9.3 percent. The unemployment rate is developed from a sample survey of residences by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates for the MSAs in August were:

Alexandria, 6.9 percent, down from 7.7 percent

Baton Rouge, 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent

Houma, 4.9 percent, down from 5.4 percent

Lafayette, 5.6 percent, down from 6.1 percent

Lake Charles, 6.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent

Monroe, 7.7 percent, down from 8.2 percent

New Orleans, 7.3 percent, down from 7.8 percent

Shreveport, 6.7 percent, down from 7.0 percent

The household survey estimates of Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – decreased by 32,399 over the month to 2,047,309. The not seasonally adjusted estimate shows the number of people employed in August was 1,897,998, down 18,197 from July. The number of unemployed in August decreased to its lowest level of 2011 at 149,311, down 14,202 from July.

A separate BLS survey of Louisiana employers showed the state had an increase of 1,600 not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs over the month, for a total of 1,905,300 in August and an increase of 30,300 jobs from August 2010. The private industry sectors decreased 600 jobs over the month and added 37,100 workers over the year.

At the MSA level, the Lafayette MSA added the most nonfarm jobs over the month with a gain of 1,500 workers and the New Orleans MSA had the largest gain over the year with an increase of 10,500 jobs.

“Our steadily improving unemployment rate and over-the-year job growth, particularly in the private sector, are positive signs for our state,” said LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink.

For more detailed information on August 2011 employment data for Louisiana, visit the LWC website at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select LOIS (Louisiana Occupational Information System) and Employment and Wage Data listed under Historical Data Analysis.

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