Date:March 30, 2007
Contact:Ed Pratt @ (225) 219-0679

Strong Nonfarm Job Growth Continues
Unemployment rates drop across state

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana gained 75,000 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs between February 2006 and February 2007, bringing the number of workers in the state to 1,899,000, the Louisiana Department of Labor announced today. The February unemployment rate is 3.9 percent compared to 3.7 percent in January.

Industries across the state added 5,700 jobs over the month, leading to an unemployment rate below the national February 2007 rate of 4.5 percent and the state year-ago revised rate of 4.3 percent.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force – the number of people working and seeking work – for February increased to 1,999,030, from 1,996,573, in January. The number of employed in February was 1,921,389, a decrease from 1,922,107 in January. The state’s unemployed for February 2007 increased to 77,641, from 74,466 in January 2007.

“One of the most compelling results in the report is that the unemployment rate dropped in every parish over the month,” Secretary of Labor John Warner Smith said.

Unadjusted unemployment rates compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The February 2007 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 3.7 percent, down from the preliminary January 2007 rate of 4.4 percent. The unemployment rates for the MSAs were: Alexandria, 3.5 percent, down from 4.1 percent in January 2007; Baton Rouge, 3.4 down from 4.0; Houma, 2.5, down from 2.9; Lafayette, 2.5, down from 3.0; Lake Charles, 3.3, down from 3.9; Monroe, 4.2, down from 4.8; New Orleans, 3.8, down from 4.5; and Shreveport-Bossier City, 4.0, down from 5.4 percent last month. Lafayette and Lafourche Parishes tied for the lowest unemployment rate at 2.4 percent in February 2007, while East Carroll Parish had the highest rate at 9.3 percent. The benchmarked or revised 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 February 2007 was 1,899,000 compared to 1,893,300 for the revised January 2007 figure, for an increase of 5,700 workers. The sector breakdown was as follows: natural resources and mining, 50,800 employed in February 2007, up from 50,600 in January 2007; construction, 134,800, up from 134,600; manufacturing, 155,700, up from 154,100; trade, transportation, and utilities, 382,300, up from 381,100; information, 26,000, up from 25,500; financial activities, 97,300, up from 97,200; professional and business services, 197,900, down from 198,900; educational and health services, 243,200, up from 241,700; leisure and hospitality, 190,000, down from 191,700; other services, 68,800, up from 67,900; and government, 352,200, up from 350,000 last month.

For more detailed information on the February 2007 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at, 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.