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Date:May 20, 2011
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

State Continues to Gain Private Sector Jobs

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s total nonfarm employment grew to 1,900,800 jobs in April, with over-the-year and over-the-month job gains of more than 13,000 jobs, according to figures reported today by the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC).

Seasonally adjusted results of a survey of Louisiana employers by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show private sector jobs continue to drive the job growth. The number of private sector jobs in Louisiana has grown by 22,600 since April 2010 while there are 9,100 fewer government jobs in the state than a year ago.

Industry sectors with annual job gains were leisure and hospitality, 202,200, up 7,800 jobs over the year; education and health services, 277,700, up 7,100; information, 28,000, up 3,200 since April 2010; trade, transportation, and utilities, 367,400, up 2,000 workers; manufacturing and professional and business services, both up 1,600 jobs to 140,600 and 193,200, respectively; financial activities, 92,900, up 400; and mining and logging, 51,700, up 200 jobs. Over-the-year decreases were in construction, down 1,100 jobs to 121,200; and other services, down 200 to 65,500.

The April nonfarm estimates are the second monthly set produced by BLS using a new methodology that has less state input into results than before. The use of the new methodology makes it difficult to compare results to reports produced previously and, according to BLS, may result in an increase in variability from one month to the next.

“The April numbers show annual job increases for seven months in a row for a solid growth trend in nonfarm jobs,” said Curt Eysink, LWC executive director. “Although the trend is very encouraging, we will remain cautious about the month-to-month variability at least until we see how the new methodology plays out over the next year or so.”

A separate BLS survey of households is used to estimate the state’s civilian labor force, the number of people employed and unemployed, and the unemployment rate. Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April remained unchanged at 8.1 percent, while the national rate increased to 9.0 percent from 8.8 percent. Louisiana’s unemployment rate was the 25th lowest in the nation and the sixth lowest in the Southern region. The Southern region rate for April was 8.8 percent.

According to this household survey, Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force -- the number of people working or looking for work -- for April 2011 was 2,067,288, a decrease of 9,229 from March. The number of people employed in April decreased 8,461 to 1,899,369. The number of unemployed in April also declined, to 167,919.

For more detailed information on April 2011 employment data for Louisiana, visit the LWC Web site at and select Labor Market Information from the top right-hand menu. Then select LOIS (Louisiana Occupational Information System) and Employment and Wage Data listed under Historical Data Analysis.

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