Unemployment ticked upward slightly in October in the area.
St. Mary Parish’s jobless rate increased 0.2 percent from September to October, going from 8.1 percent to 8.3 percent. From 20,731 employed and 1,826 in September, the labor force changed to 20,708 employed and 1,884 unemployed in October. While higher for the month, the numbers are still better than October 2010, when 21,177 were employed, but 2,149 were jobless.
Neighboring Assumption also increased by a small fraction, going from 9.9 percent in September to 10 percent in October. Job figures changed from 9,172 employed and 1,005 unemployed in September to 9,188 employed and 1,023 unemployed in October. In October 2010, there were 9,422 employed and 1,073 unemployed, a 10.2 percent rate.
St. Martin Parish held steady at 6.3 percent in October, with 1,512 unemployed in both September and October, though the number of employed increased from 22,464 to 22,642. St. Martin is part of the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a combined jobless rate of 5.3 percent; Lafayette Parish has a jobless rate of 5.2 percent.
No separate calculation is made for Lower St. Martin.
Iberia Parish stood at 6.9 percent, up from 6.6 percent.
Nearby Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, which make up the Houma-Thibodaux-Bayou Cane MSA, had a combined 4.9 percent jobless rate — again the lowest in the state — up from 4.7 percent in September. Individually, Lafourche Parish had a 4.8 percent rate, up from 4.6 percent in September; and Terrebonne Parish had a 5 percent rate, up from 4.7 percent in September.
Among parishes of similar size to St. Mary, October jobless rates were: St. Bernard, 7.1 percent; St. Charles, 6.8 percent; St. John the Baptist, 8.7 percent; Acadia, 6.1 percent; Lincoln, 8.3 percent; Vermilion, 6.2 percent; Vernon, 8.3 percent; and Webster, 7.6 percent.
Parishes with double-digit unemployment include East Carroll, West Carroll, Morehouse, Madison, Franklin, Tensas, Concordia, Iberville and St. James.
Louisiana’s unemployment rate rose slightly in October, but the outlook was better compared to the same month last year, according to figures released Tuesday.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said the state’s preliminary unemployment rate in October was 7.1 percent, up from September’s revised rate of 6.9 percent. But last month’s rate was lower than the October 2010 rate of 7.5 percent.
The commission says the state gained 15,000 non-farm jobs in October over the previous month and had 44,100 more jobs than in October 2010. The figures are not adjusted for seasonal factors.
“It is great to know our job growth is strong as we head into this holiday season. The most important numbers that we have show we are continuing to add jobs,” the commission’s executive director, Curt Eysink, said in a statement.
Over the year, the goods-producing sector gained 12,800 jobs, while the service-providing sector added 31,300 jobs. Government jobs fell by 600 over the same period.
Among the state’s metropolitan areas:
—New Orleans gained 10,600 jobs over the year, adding 8,900 in the service-providing sector and 1,700 in the goods-producing sector.
—Baton Rouge lost 1,100 jobs over the year, with a loss of 100 goods-producing jobs and a decrease of 1,000 in the service-providing sector.
—Houma-Thibodaux gained 2,700 jobs in the October-to-October comparison, adding 700 goods-producing jobs and 2,000 service-providing jobs.
—Lafayette gained 6,000 jobs over 12 months — 2,300 in the goods-producing sector and 3,700 in the service-providing sector.
—Lake Charles gained 1,900 jobs over the year, including 400 in the goods-production sector and 1,500 in the service-providing sector.
—Shreveport-Bossier City added 2,900 jobs over 12 months, including 1,000 goods-producing jobs and 1,900 in the service-providing sector.
—Monroe added 400 jobs over the year, with the goods-producing and service-providing sectors each gaining 200 jobs.
—Alexandria added 800 jobs over the year. Goods-producing employment increased by 200 jobs, while service-providing jobs increased by 600.