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Date:April 1, 2013
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Private sector adds 29,900 jobs, grows 1.9 percent over the year in February
UPDATED NEWS RELEASE

NOTE: This version adds “over the year” in the second paragraph

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s private sector added 29,900 jobs over the year in February, an increase of 1.9 percent, the federal Bureau of Labor reported today.

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment in Louisiana rose in February to 1,944,000, according to the BLS monthly survey of employers. Private sector employment grew over the year for the 30th consecutive month in Louisiana to 1,596,500 in February, an over-the-month increase of 9,800 jobs.

“Employers continue to add and create jobs, and our workforce is stronger than that it was a year ago,” LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink said.

Over-the-year job growth occurred in various sectors and across multiple regions of the state. Goods-producing employers added 8,900 jobs, a growth rate of 2.8 percent, while the state’s construction industry added 8,900 jobs, a 7.2 percent increase, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment figures showed.

As well as its monthly survey of businesses, the BLS conducts a survey of households to calculate the civilian labor force, which is the total number of people working plus those looking for work. Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force grew in February to 2,095,646, an increase of 12,240 over the year. The number of employed was 1,968,925, an increase of 29,027 over the year, while the number of unemployed declined by 16,787 over the year in February to 126,721.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was 6.0 percent, up slightly from January’s revised rate of 5.9 percent but down from the February 2012 rate of 6.9 percent. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 7.7 percent. The South regional average rate was 7.3 percent, with Louisiana showing the third best rate in the region.

On a not seasonally adjusted basis, Louisiana’s unemployment rate in February was 5.8 percent. The not seasonally adjusted rate improved over the year in all eight metro areas in February:

Alexandria, 5.8 percent, down from 6.8 percent in February 2012;

Baton Rouge, 5.5 percent, down from 6.8 percent;

Houma, 4.0 percent, down from 4.9 percent;

Lafayette, 4.2 percent, down from 5.1 percent;

Lake Charles, 5.2 percent, down from 6.2 percent;

Monroe, 6.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent;

New Orleans, 5.9 percent, down from 6.8 percent;

Shreveport, 6.3 percent, down from 6.5 percent.

In 2011, 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 the February 2013 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 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: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/querytool.jsp?survey=la.

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