Louisiana’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent for October, down from 7 percent in September, and 7.1 percent for October 2011.
The report showed total state employment of 1,940,995 in October. The September figure was 1,927,850.
The number listed as unemployed fell to 137,785 in October from 144,216 in September.
The labor force grew, according to the report, which said there were 2,078,780 people in the workforce in October, compared to 2,072,066 the month before.
“Over the month, six of the 11 industry sectors had increases in employment, four showed declines, and the manufacturing sector showed no change. After leisure and hospitality, the largest gain from September was seen in information, which added 3,300 jobs,” the state’s labor department said.
“The largest monthly decline was seen in construction, which lost 1,500 jobs. Mining and logging fell by 800, while other services dropped 700 jobs over the month. Finally, the government sector showed a decline of 300 over the month.”
In St. Mary Parish, there 1,712 people unemployed in a work force of 21,813 in October. The October 2011 work force was 21,001 and 1,953 people were hunting for a job a year ago in the parish.
Metropolitan area statistics showed the Alexandria area with a 6.1 percent unemployment rate for October, the same as September; Baton Rouge had a 6.2 percent rate, unchanged from the previous month; Houma-Thibodaux, 4.3 percent, up slightly from 4.2 percent; Lafayette, 4.2, up from 4.1; Lake Charles, 5.8, up from 5.7 percent; Monroe, 6.7, down from 6.8; New Orleans, 6.5, down from 6.7; Shreveport, unchanged at 6.5 percent.
The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 7.9 percent, a 0.1 percent increase.
A BLS survey of Louisiana employers showed October was Louisiana’s 26th straight month of over-the-year private sector job gains. The state added 26,400 nonfarm jobs over the year and 12,200 jobs over the month. Louisiana’s over-the-month increase in employment of 0.6 percent was second only to Utah. The private sector added 28,800 jobs.
Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission, said, “More jobs, more people working and fewer unemployed indicate our labor markets in Louisiana are doing well. Our employment growth has been consistent over more than two years and the growth has been spread across most industry sectors.”