Date:January 28, 2009
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Nonfarm Job Growth Continues through December

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana was the only state in the country with an increase in nonfarm jobs from November to December, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) announced Wednesday.

The state gained 3,700 nonfarm jobs over the month and 8,200 since December 2007 to post a seasonally adjusted total of 1.949 million jobs, according to the numbers released Wednesday. Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employer-based sample survey by place of work.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate for December 2008 was 5.9 percent, up from the November 2008 revised rate of 5.3 percent and up from the year-ago figure of 4.0 percent. The December 2008 unemployment rate for the United States was 7.2 percent, up from the November 2008 rate of 6.8 percent.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – for December 2008 was 2,061,080, up from the November revised figure of 2,050,068. The number of employed in December was 1,939,131, down from 1,941,515 in November. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in December 2008 increased to 121,949 from 108,553 in November. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

“The increase in jobs and the growth in our workforce are positive signs and continue to indicate that we have job opportunities for the people of Louisiana despite the worsening recession nationally,” LWC Executive Director Tim Barfield said. “Still, the condition of the national economy is a reason for great concern in our state and we are watching our unemployment rate and all industry sectors closely for effects of the recession.”

The nonfarm employment and civilian labor force numbers are based on surveys conducted during the second week of December.

Unadjusted unemployment rates are used to compare parishes and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to the state. The December 2008 unadjusted unemployment rate for Louisiana was 5.5 percent, up from the revised November 2008 rate of 5.0 percent. Lafayette Parish had the lowest unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in December 2008; in contrast, East and West Carroll Parishes both had the highest rate of 13.4 percent. Please see page three for the MSA rates.

Preliminary seasonally adjusted statewide total nonfarm employment for December 2008 was 1,949,000 compared to 1,945,300 for the revised November 2008 figure, an increase of 3,700 jobs over the month. The sector breakdown was as follows: natural resources and mining, 51,200 employed in December 2008, down from 51,700 in November 2008; construction, 140,600, up from 140,300; manufacturing, 153,600, down from 153,900; trade, transportation, and utilities, 385,900, up from 385,100; information, 26,600 up 100 from the previous month; financial activities, 98,000, up from 97,900; professional and business services, 203,700, up from 202,700; educational and health services, 255,000, up from 253,900; leisure and hospitality, 199,000, up from 198,500; other services, 69,200, down from 69,500; and government, 366,200, up 900 over last month.

Five of the eight MSAs posted nonfarm employment gains over the month, two remained unchanged and only the Shreveport-Bossier MSA posted a modest job loss.

Note from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Revisions to the November 2008 preliminary Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates were unusually large in many States. The revisions reflect the routine incorporation of additional sample reports, and the use of revised estimate review procedures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The revised procedures are designed to more closely align the aggregate nonfarm employment change across States with the change in National nonfarm employment estimated and published by BLS.

For more detailed information on December 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.


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.