Date:April 29, 2009
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

New Orleans, Houma Metro Areas Post Lowest Unemployment Rates in U.S.

The Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux area had the lowest unemployment rate among all metro areas in the country in March, and the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner corridor had the lowest unemployment rate among the nation's largest metro areas, according to a report released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate in the New Orleans metro area was 5.3 percent and the rate in the Houma-Thibodaux area was 3.6 percent, tied with Iowa City, Iowa, for the lowest rate. This is the third consecutive month that the Houma area has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

“This is more good news on the employment front for Louisiana,” said Tim Barfield, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “Our state as a whole has been outperforming the nation for some time and that is particularly true for these two areas. Big parts of our state are among the best places in the country to find work."

The news today follows a report last week that showed Louisiana has added more nonfarm jobs than any other state from March 2008 to March 2009. The unemployment rate statewide in March was 5.7 percent; the national rate was 9 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures reflect unemployment rates that are not seasonally adjusted. The BLS news release can be accessed at

For more detailed information on employment data for Louisiana, visit the Louisiana Workforce Commission 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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