Date:April 21, 2010
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

Unemployment Rates Drop Across the State for Second Consecutive Month

BATON ROUGE – Unemployment rates dropped in every parish and metropolitan statistical area (MSA) of the state in March for the second straight month, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) reported today.

“This is more good news on the employment front for our state,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “March was another strong month for our labor markets.”

The Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux MSA had the lowest unemployment rate, 4.6 percent, among MSAs in the state. New Orleans, which had the lowest unemployment rate among the nation's largest metropolitan statistical areas in February, remained strong, gaining 2,500 nonfarm jobs in March. Its unemployment rate dropped from 6.5 percent to 6.0 percent over the month.

Other MSAs and their March and revised February 2010 unemployment rates:

Alexandria, 5.8 percent, down from 6.3 percent in February

Baton Rouge, 6.0 percent, down from 6.4 percent

Lafayette, 5.0 percent, down from 5.5 percent

Lake Charles, 5.8 percent, down from 6.3 percent

Monroe, 6.6 percent, down from 7.2 percent

Shreveport, 5.8 percent, down from 6.6 percent

Parish and MSA unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. The not seasonally adjusted statewide rate for March was 6.2 percent, down from 6.7 percent in February. The national unadjusted unemployment rate for March was 10.2 percent. Unadjusted rates are used to compare MSAs, parishes and counties to each other and to states and the nation.

Statewide, the total number of not seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs increased by 6,500 from February to March. The leisure and hospitality industry and retail trade fueled much of the gain, with increases of 2,300 jobs and 3,200 jobs, respectively. The influx of census workers resulted in a gain of 2,400 federal government jobs in March. Construction declined by 3,900 jobs.

For more detailed information on March 2010 employment data for Louisiana, visit our Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand 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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