BATON ROUGE - Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved to 7.4 percent in September from the August rate of 7.8 percent, with the state maintaining its ranking as the 18th lowest unemployment rate in the country, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
The number of people employed in September was 1,906,418, up from 1,904,368 in August. The number of unemployed in September 2009 fell to 152,975 from 160,598 in August. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a sample survey by place of residence.
The state’s unemployment rate is more than 2 percentage points better than the national rate of 9.8 percent and also beats the Southern regional rate of 9.3 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Michigan had the highest rate with 15.3 percent and North Dakota the lowest with 4.2 percent. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia reported jobless rates of 10 percent or above.
“The household survey data is generally very positive, showing more people working and fewer people unemployed. It also shows Louisiana continues to do better than the South and the nation as whole,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the LWC.
Louisiana is the only state in the nation to show an annual employment gain in the construction industry. Louisiana gained 2,800 in construction employment over the year.
Industry sectors showing gains or no change for September 2009, according to preliminary seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment figures:
Education and health services, 262,600, up 600 jobs from August
Professional and business services, 200,500, up 200 over the month
Leisure and hospitality, 192,300, unchanged from August’s figure
Industry sectors recording decreases for September 2009:
Mining and logging, 52,000, down 300 jobs from August
Construction 138,200, down 1,800
Manufacturing, 140,000, down 1,900
Trade, transportation, and utilities, 373,100, down 1,400
Information, 26,600, down 300
Financial activities, 90,300, down 900
Other Services, 68,700, down 600
Government, 365,500, down 4,300 jobs
Data from the employer-based survey to produce nonfarm estimates and the household survey to produce the labor force estimates differed from each other this month because of variations in definitions and coverage information, methods of collection and estimating procedures. Sampling variability and response rates are additional reasons for discrepancies. This may cause the results from the two sample surveys to move in different directions, as was seen in September.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission will release comparable September 2009 data for the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) areas on October 23, 2009.
The full Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report is available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.htm .
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