News
Date:March 9, 2007
Contact:Ed Pratt @ (225) 219-0679

Benchmark Revisions Reflect 82,700 Annual Nonfarm Job Growth
Louisiana unemployment rate at record low for January

BATON ROUGE – The January seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Louisiana was estimated at 1,892,800, an increase of 82,700 jobs since January 2006, the Louisiana Department of Labor announced today. The unemployment rate for the state was 3.7 percent in January, compared to the national rate of 4.6 percent.

The annual revisions are part of the “benchmark” process for the nonfarm data. This process involves an annual adjustment using a complete count of jobs from tax reports submitted by employers covered by the state unemployment insurance (UI) laws. This process was used to modify the monthly time series for 2005 and 2006 and set the level of employment for 2007. The responses from a sample of employers to a monthly survey will determine the month-to-month change in employment trends this year.

Some of the revision can be attributed to underestimating job growth in the state’s construction industry. However, the highest employment growth in order by job gains were trade, transportation, and utilities; educational and health services; and the leisure and hospitality industries with each sector adding over 16,000 workers since January 2006. Natural resources and mining had the largest percent increase in employment at 9.3 percent or 4,300 workers over the year.

The unemployment rate for January 2007 decreased to 3.7 percent from the revised December 2006 rate of 4.3 percent for Louisiana, and was below the year-ago rate of 4.6 percent. The state’s rate was also below the national unemployment rate of 4.6 percent for January 2007. Louisiana’s civilian labor force for January 2007 decreased to 1,996,573, from 2,003,647, in December 2006. The number of employed in January 2007 was 1,922,107, an increase from 1,918,555 in December 2006. The state’s unemployed for January 2007 decreased to 74,466, from 85,092 in December 2006.

Unadjusted unemployment rates compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The January 2007 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 4.4 percent, up from the revised December 2006 rate of 3.6 percent. The unemployment rates for the MSAs were: Alexandria, 4.1 percent, up from 3.4 percent in December 2006; Baton Rouge, 4.0 up from 3.4; Houma, 2.9, up from 2.4; Lafayette, 3.0, up from 2.4; Lake Charles, 3.9, up from 3.2; Monroe, 4.8, up from 3.6; New Orleans, 4.5, up from 3.8; and Shreveport-Bossier City, 5.4, up from 3.8 percent last month. Lafayette, Lafourche, and Terrebonne Parishes tied for the lowest unemployment rate at 2.9 percent in January 2007, while East Carroll Parish had the highest rate at 10.1 percent. The benchmarked 2006 unemployment sub-state area data released today is subject to final approval from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national office.

Preliminary seasonally adjusted statewide total nonfarm employment for January 2007 was 1,892,800 compared to 1,886,800 for the revised December 2006 figure, for an increase of 6,000 workers. The sector breakdown was as follows: natural resources and mining, 50,700 employed in January 2007, down from 50,900 in December; construction, 134,800, unchanged; manufacturing, 154,200, down from 155,000; trade, transportation, and utilities, 380,900, up from 376,900; information, at 25,600, remained unchanged; financial activities, 97,200, up from 96,700; professional and business services, 199,300, also unchanged from the prior month; educational and health services, 241,600, up from 240,700; leisure and hospitality, 191,300, up from 189,400; other services, 67,900, no change; and government, 349,300, down from 349,600 last month.

For more detailed information on the January 2007 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at www.LAWORKS.net, scroll over the tab at the top of the page for Labor Market Information, click on Publications & Reports, and select LMI Bulletin.

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.