Date:October 19, 2012
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest in Seven Months

BATON ROUGE – The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.0 percent in September, the lowest level since March, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A survey of Louisiana employers by the BLS showed 25 consecutive months of over-the-year gains in nonfarm private sector jobs, with 24,500 more private sector jobs in the state than a year ago amounting to 1,578,100 jobs in September 2012. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment totaled 1,938,500 jobs in September, reflecting a net gain of 23,300 jobs. The state lost 6,700 nonfarm jobs over the month, with 5,900 of them in the private sector.

LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said, “Louisiana's economy continues to move in the right direction. The unemployment rate continues to drop, private sector jobs grew by 1.6 percent and more people are working."

A separate BLS survey of households is used to estimate the state’s civilian labor force, the number of people employed and unemployed, and the unemployment rate. Louisiana was one of 17 states in the nation with an over-the-month decrease in the unemployment rate in September. Also, Louisiana was among the five states with a 0.4 point or greater decrease in the unemployment rate over August 2012. The state’s rate at 7.0 percent was tied for the 21st lowest in the nation and was the sixth lowest in the Southern region. The Southern region rate for September decreased to 7.8 percent. The national unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent.

According to the household survey, the number of people employed statewide in September increased on a seasonally adjusted basis by 5,653 over the month and by 22,375 over the year, to a total of 1,928,041. The number of unemployed decreased 9,493 over the month, and by 4,025 over the year, to a total of 144,244. The state’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - was 2,072,285 for September 2012, down 3,840 over the month and up 18,350 over the year.

Last year, BLS implemented a new method to estimate nonfarm employment that greatly reduces state input into the results. The effect has been greater variability from one month to the next, particularly in figures for areas smaller than the state, such as metropolitan statistical areas, and for industry sectors or subsectors.

Not seasonally adjusted estimates for MSAs and parishes will be released on Thursday, Oct. 25. For more detailed information on the September 2012 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 select Employment and Wage Data listed under Historical Data Analysis.

To view the BLS nonfarm estimates for the state, click here:

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