La. jobless rate drops for third month in a row
The Associated Press
Louisiana's unemployment rate fell for the third straight month in November, hitting 6.3 percent as the state's job market continued its recovery from a slowdown in 2013's first half.
A separate survey showed payrolls were basically flat from October to November. Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out normal seasonal changes — were released Friday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in October. The state's jobless rate was 5.7 percent in November 2012.
Nevada and Rhode Island tied for the nation's worst jobless rate at 9 percent, while North Dakota was again lowest at 2.6 percent. Unemployment rates fell or were unchanged in all 50 U.S. states in November, evidence that hiring is improving across the country. The Labor Department said Friday that employers added jobs in 43 states and cut jobs in just seven.
The national unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent in November from 7.3 percent in October. It was also below the 7.8 percent level of July 2012.
The unemployment rate is calculated by a survey that asks how many people are looking for a job. A second survey each month asks employers how many people are on their payrolls, a measure many economists use as their top labor market indicator.
Louisiana's nonfarm payrolls rose to 1.97 million people in November, up only 400 from October, but more than 20,000 higher than a year ago.
Despite the modest month-over-month increase, it's the fourth consecutive month that the state's payrolls pushed to a new all-time high. Since bottoming out in early 2010, Louisiana payrolls have risen almost 5 percent, outstripping the number of jobs lost during the recession.
"The November numbers validate once again that Louisiana is on a great trajectory," Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink said in a statement.
The broadest measure of those who are unemployed averaged 12.6 percent in Louisiana during the 12 months that ended September 30, the most recent figures available. That rate includes not only those counted as jobless in the standard survey, but also people who are looking for work only sporadically, have given up looking, or are working part time because they can't find a full-time job.
Nationwide, that broad measure averaged 14.1 percent during the same time.