Louisiana’s total nonfarm employment grew by 24,500 jobs in the 12 months ending September 2012 to a total of 1,578,100 jobs last month, according to federal figures released Friday.
A survey of Louisiana employers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found the state continued to add jobs for the 25th consecutive month.
“Louisiana’s economy continues to move in the right direction. The unemployment rate continues to drop, private sector jobs grew by 1.6 percent and more people are working,” Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink said in a statement.
Louisiana’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.4 percentage points from August to September, to 7 percent. Only four other states had a 0.4 percentage-point decrease or better.
The number of unemployed Louisianians fell to 144,244 from 153,737 in August. In September 2011, the state had 148,269 unemployed people.
Louisiana’s labor force was also down, falling by 3,840 people, to just over 2.07 million.
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 that many economists look to as their top labor market indicator.
Overall, jobless levels fell in 17 states. The national unemployment rate dipped to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent in August.
The Workforce Commission announced Friday that first-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Oct. 13 decreased from the previous week’s total.
Initial claims decreased to 2,909 from the previous week’s total of 3,050. For the comparable week in 2011, there were 3,423 initial claims.
The four-week moving average, which is a less-volatile measure of claims, decreased to 3,021 from the previous week’s total of 3,512.
Continued unemployment claims claimed for the week ending Oct. 13 totaled 30,946, compared with 31,541 the previous week.