New unemployment numbers show national economy affecting Louisiana - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

New unemployment numbers show national economy affecting Louisiana

By Caroline Moses - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - New unemployment numbers released Wednesday look much worse than the numbers from one year ago, or even those from one month ago. They paint a very different picture than the economic landscape Louisiana officials have been describing.

Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret and LSU economist Loren Scott have been spreading news of a stellar state economy. "So while the South shrank, the country shrank jobs, we grew jobs in this year," said Moret. "We'll actually grow by about 2,400 jobs in 2009," Scott said.

However, a new unemployment figure of 5.3% in Baton Rouge tells a different tale. Unemployment is up .5% from last month and 1.5% from last year. "The number of unemployed increased and taken from survey and that's partly a result of the number of people in the workforce growing faster than the number of jobs," said Curt Eysink with the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Eysink says the numbers show Louisiana is no longer immune to the recession. The number of people who filed for unemployment one week this month nearly tripled that of an average week last year. "I think everybody's been caught by surprise at the situation with the economy now compared to what it was six months ago, which is a relatively short time period," Eysink said. An example of the situation was a line in New Orleans Tuesday. All types of people, from college kids to senior citizens, showed up at a job fair hoping for work. "The major areas seeing layoffs are in the auto industry and the pulp and paper industry," he added.

It's not all gloom for certain industries, though. According to Forbes Magazine, some jobs are virtually recession-proof. Its top five safe jobs are:

#5 Accounting Staff
#4 Accounting Executive
#3 Nursing
#2 Software Design and Development
#1 Sales Representative

Eysink says Louisiana is still not nearly as affected as other states in country, at least not yet.
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