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Date:January 25, 2013
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

December over-the-year jobless rates down in all 64 parishes

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December 2012 was down over the year in all 64 parishes, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent in December from 6.6 percent a year ago. The U.S. rate also improved to 7.6 percent in December 2012 from 8.3 percent in December 2011. The unemployment rate is developed from a sample survey of residences by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Though they all were down over the year, December unemployment rates in the MSAs were up from November:

• Alexandria, 5.7 percent, up from 4.5 percent in November 2012;

• Baton Rouge, 5.4 percent, up from 4.5 percent;

• Houma, 3.7 percent, up from 3.1 percent;

• Lafayette, 3.7 percent, up from 3.1 percent;

• Lake Charles, 5.3 percent, up from 4.2 percent;

• Monroe, 5.8 percent, up from 4.9 percent;

• New Orleans, 5.5 percent, up from 4.7 percent;

• Shreveport, 5.7 percent, up from 4.8 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 2,689 over the month, but increased by 31,942 over the year to 2,075,211. The not seasonally adjusted estimate shows the number of people employed in December was 1,961,016, a decrease of 21,300 over the month but an increase of 52,111 over the year.

The number of people unemployed in December was 114,195, an increase of 18,611 over the month, but down by 20,169 over the year.

A separate BLS survey of Louisiana employers showed the state had an increase of 23,600 not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs over the year to a total of 1,961,500 in December. Private industry sectors added 25,800 workers over the year.

“The improvements over the year far outweigh any month-to-month changes. Louisiana’s workforce grew stronger in 2012, the private sector continued to add jobs and far fewer people were drawing unemployment in December 2012 than a year earlier,” LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said.

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 Dec 2012 employment data for Louisiana, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at www.laworks.net and select Labor Market Information from the top right 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: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=la.

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