Date:October 25, 2012
Contact:Media 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 September as Louisiana recorded its lowest unemployment rate in nearly three years, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September dropped to 6.3 percent from 7.3 percent in August and from 7.2 percent in September 2011. The U.S. rate improved to 7.6 percent from 8.2 percent in August and 8.8 percent in September 2011. The unemployment rate is developed by the BLS from a sample survey of residences.

Unemployment rates in September were lower over the year and over the month in every MSA. The MSA September rates and their change from August are:

• Alexandria, 6.1 percent, down from 7.2 percent in August 2012.

• Baton Rouge, 6.2 percent, down from 7.2 percent.

• Houma, 4.2 percent, down from 4.9 percent.

• Lafayette, 4.1 percent, down from 5.0 percent.

• Lake Charles, 5.7 percent, down from 6.7 percent.

• Monroe, 6.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent.

• New Orleans, 6.7 percent, down from 7.5 percent.

• Shreveport, 6.5 percent, down from 7.2 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 16,745 over the month, but increased by 6,448 over the year to 2,069,397. The not seasonally adjusted estimate shows the number of people employed in September was 1,938,465 an increase of 3,801 over the month and 23,192 over the year. The number of people unemployed in September decreased by 20,546 over the month and by 16,744 over the year to 130,932.

A separate BLS survey of Louisiana employers showed the state had an increase of 1,500 not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs over the month, for a total of 1,934,400 in September and an increase of 21,000 jobs from September 2011. The private industry sectors decreased 8,600 jobs over the month and added 22,500 workers over the year.

”Every one of the labor markets in Louisiana is strengthening,” LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said. "Our private sector has added jobs for more than two straight years and unemployment is declining."

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 for areas that are smaller than the state, such as metropolitan statistical areas, and for industry sectors or subsectors.

For more detailed information on Sept 2012 employment data for Louisiana, visit the LWC website at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand 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.

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

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.