Louisiana only state to increase jobs last month

Staff reports

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana was the only state in the country with an increase in nonfarm jobs from November to December, the Louisiana Workforce Commission announced Wednesday.

The state gained 3,700 nonfarm jobs over the month and 8,200 since December 2007 to post a seasonally adjusted total of 1.949 million jobs, according to the numbers released Wednesday.

Nonfarm statistics are estimated from an employerbased sample survey by place of work.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate for December 2008 was 5.9 percent, up from the November 2008 revised rate of 5.3 percent and up from the year-ago figure of 4.0 percent. The December 2008 unemployment rate for the United States was 7.2 percent, up from the November 2008 rate of 6.8 percent.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – for December 2008 was 2,061,080, up from the November revised figure of 2,050,068. The number of employed in December was 1,939,131, down from1,941,515 in November. The number of unemployed in Louisiana in December 2008 increased to 121,949 from 108,553 in November. Civilian labor force statistics are estimated from a residential-based sample survey by place of residence.

“The increase in jobs and the growth in our workforce are positive signs and continue to indicate that we have job opportunities for the people of Louisiana despite the worsening recession nationally,” LWC Executive Director Tim Barfield said. “Still, the condition of the national economy is a reason for great concern in our state and we are watching our unemployment rate and all industry sectors closely for effects of the recession.”

The nonfarm employment and civilian labor force numbers are based on surveys conducted during the second week of December.