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

Louisiana’s unemployment rate down over the year in March

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2013 was 6.0 percent, down from the rate of 6.6 percent seen in March of last year, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The U.S. not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in March 2013, a decline from the rate of 8.4 percent from March 2012.

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates were down over the year in 57 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, up in six parishes and unchanged in one. Unemployment rates improved over the year in seven of the state’s eight metropolitan statistical areas:

• Alexandria, 6.0 percent, down from 6.5 percent in March 2012;

• Baton Rouge, 5.8 percent, down from 6.6 percent;

• Houma, 4.1 percent, down from 4.7 percent;

• Lafayette, 4.3 percent, down from 4.9 percent;

• Lake Charles, 5.4 percent, down from 6.1 percent;

• Monroe, 6.5 percent, down from 7.2 percent;

• New Orleans, 6.0 percent, down from 6.7 percent;

• Shreveport, 6.5 percent, up from 6.4 percent.

“Louisiana employers continue to add jobs, which is why the unemployment rate in most of the state was better in March than a year ago,” Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink said.

Louisiana’s not seasonally adjusted civilian labor force—the number of people working or looking for work—was 2,064,753, a decrease of 2,870 over the year but an increase of 4,069 over the month. The number of employed in March was 1,940,973, an increase of 10,529 over the year and an increase of 164 over the month. The number of unemployed in Louisiana was 123,780 in March, a decrease of 13,399 over the year but an increase of 3,905 over the month.

Not seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was 1,948,100 in March, up 28,900 over the year. Private employers added 33,600 jobs over the year, pushing total private employment to 1,599,400. Growth was paced by gains in construction (9,800 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (7,600 jobs); and professional and business services (7,300 jobs).

In 2011, the 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 March 2013 employment data for Louisiana, visit Louisiana’s employment homepage at http://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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