Date:July 25, 2008
Contact:Media Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Louisiana Nonfarm Payrolls Keep Growing

BATON ROUGE – Seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in Louisiana grew by 32,800 workers between June 2007 and June 2008, bringing the total number of jobs in the state to 1,948,500, the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced today. The June 2008 total was an increase of 5,000 jobs over May’s figure and represents a 1.7 percent increase from last year’s total. Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate for June 2008 was 3.8 percent, down from the May 2008 revised rate of 4.0 percent, but up slightly from the year-ago figure of 3.7 percent. The June 2008 unemployment rate for the United States held at 5.5 percent, unchanged from a month ago.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - for June 2008 was 2,012,063, up from the May revised figure of 2,008,102. The number of employed in June was 1,935,156, an increase from 1,928,716 in May. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in June 2008 decreased to 76,907 from 79,386 for the previous month. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

“The increase in jobs, an unemployment rate that is hovering around a 30-year low, coupled with an increase in the labor force, all are signs that Louisiana’s economy is doing much better than the country as a whole,” Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Tim Barfield said.

“However, those factors also continue to put a spotlight on our need to reform the workforce development system in our state,” Barfield said. “If we don’t expand our workforce and do a better job of aligning the skills of job seekers with the demands of business and industry, workforce issues will remain one of the biggest obstacles to even better performance by Louisiana’s economy.”

Unadjusted unemployment rates are used to compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The June 2008 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 4.8 percent, up from the revised May 2008 rate of 3.7 percent. Terrebonne Parish had the lowest unemployment rate of 3.4 percent in June 2008, while West Carroll Parish had the highest rate of 11.0 percent. Please see page three for the MSA rates.

Preliminary seasonally adjusted statewide total nonfarm employment for June 2008 was 1,948,500, up 5,000 from the revised May 2008 figure of 1,943,500. The sector breakdown was as follows: natural resources and mining, 51,200 employed in June 2008, down from 51,300 in May 2008; construction, 139,000, up from 137,700; manufacturing, 157,400, down from 157,500; trade, transportation, and utilities, 386,000, up from 384,500; information, 26,600, down from 26,700; financial activities, 96,600, down from 96,900; professional and business services, 203,400, up from 202,900; educational and health services, 253,600, up from 252,800; leisure and hospitality, 200,200, up from 199,500; other services, 69,300, up from 69,200; and government, 365,200, up from 364,500.

Five of the MSAs saw nonfarm employment gains over the month while two areas had small losses; the Lafayette MSA had no change in nonfarm employment from May 2008 to June 2008. The New Orleans MSA had the greatest monthly job gain, adding 2,800 nonfarm jobs, while the Monroe MSA experienced a loss of 700 jobs due primarily to a reduction in state government.

For more detailed information on June 2008 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the left-side menu. Then select Monthly Employment Bulletin – Workforce At A Glance or Monthly Employment Statistics Press Release for the latest monthly nonfarm and labor force data.

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