Edwards lauds state’s drop in unemployment

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BATON ROUGE – Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement today on Louisiana’s latest unemployment rate of 4.5 percent, a rate that is 1.2 percent lower than  the rate a year ago. This decline is the second largest decrease in a state’s year over year unemployment rate in the nation.

“This is great news for our state and is further evidence that our workforce is getting stronger and that we are moving in the right direction,” said Gov. Edwards. “We have not seen our unemployment rate this low since February of 2008.  This is why it is critical that we continue investing in our workforce training programs, which are clearly paying off.  They help us develop the kind of stable and well trained workforce that helps retain and grow existing businesses and attract more companies to our state. There is more work to do, but this is certainly the kind of momentum that will help propel us into the kind of prosperity that we have not seen in generations.”

Louisiana’s February unemployment rate of 4.5 percent is a decrease of 0.1 percent from January.  The number of unemployed in February was 95,099. The last time there were fewer seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals was in May 2008. Nonfarm employment has seen gains in three straight months and in four of the last five months.  Manufacturing has added jobs both over the month and over the year for three straight months, while healthcare and social assistance have added jobs over the year every month since September 2006.