State’s unemployment rate hits 10-year low

Webster Parish’s rate above state average, but fell throughout year

NEW ORLEANS— Unemployment fell for the sixth straight month in Louisiana, but payrolls moved in the wrong direction in October.

The jobless rate fell to 4.8 percent in October from 5.1 percent in September, as more people entered the labor force and more found jobs. Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent a year ago.

About 100,000 Louisianans were jobless, down more than 5,000 from September.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate doesn’t rank among the 10 worst states for the first time in years. October’s U.S. rate fell to 4.1 percent from September’s 4.2 percent.

The separate payroll survey, economists’ top labor market indicator, continued a multi-month downward trend, falling below 1.98 million in Louisiana. That remains 8,000 higher than last October.

Following are job gains and losses for Louisiana’s metro areas:

Alexandria gained 100 jobs from September 2017, but is down 700 jobs from October 2016.

Baton Rouge lost 800 jobs from September 2017, but is up 4,100 jobs from October 2016. The Baton Rouge MSA has had 10 straight over-the-year increases.

Houma lost 100 jobs from September 2017 and is down 1,700 jobs from October 2016.

Lafayette lost 700 jobs from September 2017 and is down 700 jobs from October 2016.

Lake Charles gained 300 jobs from September 2017 and is up 4,700 jobs from October 2016. The Lake Charles MSA has had over-the-year increases for 76 consecutive months.

Monroe gained 300 jobs from September 2017 and is up 500 jobs from October 2016. The Monroe MSA has had 13 straight over-the-year increases.

New Orleans lost 1,600 jobs from September 2017, but is up 400 jobs from October 2016.

Shreveport lost 1,000 jobs from September 2017 and is down 2,600 jobs from October 2016.

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