Date:April 27, 2007
Contact:Ed Pratt @ (225) 219-0679

Strong Nonfarm Job Growth Continues

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana gained 66,900 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs between March 2006 and March 2007, bringing the total number of jobs in the state to 1,904,200, the Louisiana Department of Labor announced today. Educational and health services contributed the most jobs (15,500) to this annual gain. Industries across the state added 4,900 jobs over the month with the leisure and hospitality sector leading the gain with 2,200 jobs.

The March 2007 unemployment rate for Louisiana was 4.1 percent, up from 3.9 percent a month ago and up from the March 2006 revised rate of 4.0 percent. Louisiana was below the national rate of 4.4 percent for March 2007.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force – the number of people working and seeking work – for March 2007 increased to 2,016,780, from 1,999,030, in February 2007. The number of employed in March was 1,934,264, an increase from 1,921,389 in February. The state’s unemployed for March 2007 increased to 82,516, from 77,641 in February 2007.

“Both the monthly nonfarm employment numbers and the civilian labor force estimates indicated that more people were working in Louisiana in March compared to the prior month. These are significant signs of an expanding workforce,” Secretary of Labor John Warner Smith said.

Unadjusted unemployment rates compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The March 2007 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 3.8 percent, up from the preliminary February 2007 rate of 3.7 percent. The unemployment rates for the MSAs were: Alexandria, 3.6 percent, up from 3.5 percent in February 2007; Baton Rouge, 3.5 up from 3.4; Houma, 2.7, up from 2.5; Lafayette, 2.7, up from 2.5; Lake Charles, 3.5, up from 3.3; Monroe, 4.2, remained unchanged; New Orleans, 4.0, up from 3.8; and Shreveport-Bossier City, 4.0, also unchanged. Lafayette and Lafourche Parishes tied for the lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent in March 2007, while East Carroll Parish had the highest rate at 8.5 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 March 2007 was 1,904,200 compared to 1,899,300 for the revised February 2007 figure, for an increase of 4,900 workers. The sector breakdown was as follows: natural resources and mining, 51,100 employed in March 2007, up from 50,700 in February 2007; construction, 134,800, down from 135,000; manufacturing, 155,000, down from 155,900; trade, transportation, and utilities, 382,800, unchanged; information, 25,700, down from 26,000; financial activities, 97,100, down from 97,400; professional and business services, 199,500, up from 198,300; educational and health services, 243,800, up from 243,200; leisure and hospitality, 191,600, up from 189,400; other services, 69,400, up from 69,000; and government, 353,400, up from 351,600 last month.

For more detailed information on the March 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.