St. Mary unemployment drops in Sept.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate declined in September, and St. Mary Parish’s rate went right along with it.

St. Mary posted an 8.2 percent jobless rate last month, down from 8.8 percent in August and more than a percent better than the same month a year ago, when unemployment stood at 9.5 percent.

There were 20,332 employed and 1,828 jobless in September, compared to 20,187 employed and 1,954 jobless in August. Almost 21,000 were employed September 2010, but almost 2,200 were jobless.

St. Mary’s rate was again higher than most of its neighbors. Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes again had the lowest rates in the state, at 4.7 and 4.6 percent respectively; and 4.7 percent together as the Houma-Thibodaux-Bayou Cane Metropolitan Statistical Area.

St. Martin Parish all together had a rate of 6.3 percent; while the Lafayette MSA, of which St. Martin is a part, has a rate of 5.2 percent. Lafayette Parish’s rate is 5 percent. No separate calculation is made for Lower St. Martin.

Iberia Parish stands at 6.6 percent unemployment, while Assumption Parish is still hanging in double-digit joblessness at 10 percent.

Among parishes of similar size to St. Mary, jobless rates included St. Bernard, 6.9 percent; St. Charles, 6.4; St. John the Baptist, 8.5; Acadia, 5.9; Lincoln, 8.1; Vermilion, 5.8; Vernon, 8.5; and Webster, 7.5.

Jobless rates above 10 percent persist in East Carroll, West Carroll, Madison, Morehouse, Franklin, Tensas, Concordia, Iberville and St. James. East Carroll’s rate of 14.5 percent is the state’s highest, but is significantly lower than the rate above 17 percent than that parish recorded earlier this year.

Louisiana registered its lowest unemployment rate since April 2010, the state Workforce Commission reported Wednesday.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state’s unemployment rate in September also was 6.9 percent, down from 7.2 percent in August. The national jobless rate was 9.1 percent for both months.

Louisiana had 41,300 more non-farm jobs last month than in September 2010, according to the commission. The number also represented an increase compared to August 2011, when the commission reported 30,300 more non-farm jobs than in August 2010. Those figures are not adjusted for seasonal factors.

Over the year, goods-producing industries gained 13,900 jobs, while the service sector added 27,400 jobs. Government employment dropped by 2,000 jobs last month compared to September 2010.

The commission said Louisiana’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.9 percent last month was down from 7.3 percent in August and 7.7 percent in September 2010 and reached its lowest rate since April 2010.

In the goods-producing sector, manufacturing has gained 7,800 jobs since September 2010. Construction jobs increased by 3,900 over the same period.

In the service-providing sector, private education-health services gained 18,900 jobs over the year. Trade, transportation and utilities gained 5,400 jobs, while leisure-hospitality jobs increased by 1,900 jobs.

Among the state’s metropolitan areas:

—New Orleans gained 10,900 non-farm jobs over the year, all in the service-providing sector. Goods-producing employment didn’t change.

—Baton Rouge has lost 800 non-farm jobs since September 2010. Goods-producing employment gained 2,100 jobs over the year, but the service-providing sector lost 2,900 jobs.

—Houma-Thibodaux gained 2,900 non-farm jobs over the year, including 800 goods-producing jobs and 2,100 service-providing jobs.

—Lafayette has gained 4,400 non-farm jobs over the past 12 months, including 2,100 goods-producing jobs and 2,300 serving-producing jobs.

—Lake Charles has gained 2,900 non-farm jobs since September 2010, including 600 in the goods-production sector and 2,300 in the service-providing sector.

—Shreveport-Bossier City added 3,600 non-farm jobs over the past year, including 1,500 goods-producing jobs and 2,100 in the service-providing sector.

—Monroe lost 400 non-farm jobs over the year. The service-providing sector lost 600 jobs, but the goods-producing sector added 200.

—Alexandria added 1,400 non-farm jobs over the year. Goods-producing employment increased by 100 jobs, while service-providing jobs increased by 1,300.

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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