Date:April 16, 2010
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

March Numbers Rank LA Eighth in Nation for Lowest Unemployment Rate

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2010 improved to 6.9 percent from the February revised rate of 7.3 percent as key labor force indicators continued the positive movement, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) reported today.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate was tied for the eighth lowest in the nation and was second lowest in the Southern region. Louisiana was one of only 17 states in the nation with a rate decrease, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the United States remained at 9.7 percent for the third consecutive month. The Southern region rate for March was 9.8 percent.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force - the number of people working or looking for work - for March 2010 was 2,084,482, a gain of 3,150 from February. The number of people employed in March increased by 10,450 to 1,940,677. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in March 2010 was 143,805, a decrease of 7,300 from February. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

Governor Bobby Jindal said, “This shows that Louisiana continues to outperform the South and the nation. We will continue to pursue a strategy that ensures our business climate remains strong so that all of our sons and daughters can pursue their dreams right here at home.”

“The continued growth of our labor force, together with more people working and fewer people unemployed, is encouraging,” said Curt Eysink, LWC executive director. March was the second consecutive month all three indicators showed improvement.

Five industry sectors recorded job gains for the month: government, which includes federal, state and local government and public education, 369,000, up 1,700 jobs; trade, transportation, and utilities, 364,300, up 1,100 workers since February; mining and logging, up 600; leisure and hospitality, 198,700, up 300; and financial activities, up 200 with 87,800 jobs. The information sector held steady at 24,700 jobs. Industry sectors recording decreases were construction, which fell by 5,200 from February to 122,200; professional and business services, 191,500, down 1,400; education and health services, 271,700, down 400 jobs; manufacturing, down 400 jobs; and other services, 68,400, down 300 jobs.

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