Date:March 2, 2012
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment Insurance Claims Lowest Since December 2008

BATON ROUGE - Initial claims for unemployment insurance continue to drop in Louisiana, evidence the state’s economy continues to strengthen.

For the week ending Feb. 25, 2012, initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to 2,664, the lowest weekly level since December 2008. Claims for the week represent an 11.4 % drop from the previous week’s 3,007 initial claims, and a 16.6% drop from the comparable week a year ago, when 3,196 initial claims were filed.

“The number of Louisiana residents filing initial claims for unemployment continues to fall, and that’s great news for our economy,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “For four consecutive weeks now we’ve seen a decline in new claims. Not only are employers hiring and businesses growing, but this agency’s efforts to help unemployed workers return to work are paying dividends.”

As well as fewer new claims for unemployment insurance, the number of weeks of benefits claimed by people who already are qualified also is shrinking. Continued unemployment insurance weeks claimed for the week ending Feb. 25, 2012, decreased to 37,827 from the previous week’s total of 39,009. The figure represents the seventh consecutive weekly decline in continued unemployment insurance weeks claimed, a 19.1 % decline from the comparable week a year ago figure of 46,731, and the lowest weekly level since January 2009.

The four-week moving average of continued weeks claimed decreased to 39,417 from the previous week’s average of 40,540.

“Fewer people claiming unemployment reduces stress on the state trust fund, and it means employers overall won’t have to pay as much into the fund,” Eysink said. “It’s great all-around news for workers, employers and the state of Louisiana.”

For more detailed information on occupational groups of unemployment insurance claimants, visit the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s website at and select Labor Market Information. Then select LOIS and use the menu under Historic Data Analysis. Scroll over Employment and Wage Data, Labor Force Data, and select Unemployment Insurance Claimants.

The UI Weekly Claims Data webpage includes the following features: UI Weekly Claims Data by Regional Labor Market Area and by Parish, UI Weekly Claims Data by Industry for Louisiana, UI Definitions and UI Monthly Claimant Characteristics by Parish. To access these products begin on the LWC home page and select Labor Market Information. Scroll down the LMI page to the LMI Products section and select Unemployment Insurance Claims.

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