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Date:November 20, 2012
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana’s October jobless rate lowest in more than three years

BATON ROUGE – The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in October, the lowest it has been since April 2009, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate improved 0.4 percentage points over the month, fueled by an increase from September of 13,145 more people working and a decrease of 6,431 unemployed, according to seasonally adjusted estimates by BLS, based on a survey of households.

The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 7.9 percent, a 0.1 percent increase.

A BLS survey of Louisiana employers showed October was Louisiana’s 26th straight month of over-the-year private sector job gains. The state added 26,400 nonfarm jobs over the year and 12,200 jobs over the month. Louisiana’s over-the-month increase in employment of 0.6 percent was second only to Utah. The private sector added 28,800 jobs.

“More jobs, more people working and fewer unemployed indicate our labor markets in Louisiana are doing well. Our employment growth has been consistent over more than two years and the growth has been spread across most industry sectors,” said Curt Eysink, the executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “These broad-based and consistent improvements make Louisiana more competitive than ever as a place to grow a business or find a job.”

The BLS household survey is used to estimate the state’s civilian labor force, the number of people employed and unemployed, and the unemployment rate. The October unemployment rate for Louisiana was tied for 16th lowest in the nation, and third lowest in the South. The October rate for the South was 7.6 percent.

The state’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was 2,078,780 in October, an increase of 21,296 over the year and 6,714 over the month. The number of employed in October was 1,940,995, up by 30,422 since October 2011 and the highest since January 2009. The number of unemployed was 137,785 for October, a

decrease of 9,126 over the year and the lowest since April 2009.

Not seasonally adjusted private sector employment for October grew by 19,200 jobs over the month and 29,300 jobs over the year. The BLS estimates nonfarm employment from a survey of employers. Seasonally adjusted data are used to compare states and to compare states to the nation. Not seasonally adjusted data are used to compare areas within the state to each other and to the state as a whole.

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.

Louisiana’s unadjusted unemployment rate, comparable to MSAs and parishes, in October was the same as the September rate of 6.3 percent, but down from the October 2011 rate of 7.1 percent. Unemployment rates for each of the MSAs showed a slight increase or decrease of less than a half of a percent from September to October 2012, and each area reflected declines when compared to the October 2011 figures.

For more detailed information on October 2012 employment data for Louisiana, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at www.laworks.net 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.

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