Lafayette Parish's stress index rose .97 points from May, to 7.57, and Louisiana's was 9.82, up 1.19 points, according to the AP's stress index for June.
All but six of the 56 counties or parishes along the Gulf Coast in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas endured higher economic stress in June, according to the AP's stress index for June.
But since the BP oil spill, the economies in the region haven't all fared the same. The index found that all of coastal Louisiana's parishes have endured higher economic stress since April, as have all but one of the 17 coastal counties in Texas and two of the three in Mississippi. Higher unemployment is the main reason. By contrast, Alabama's two coastal counties have seen declines in economic hardship, along with more than half the 23 Florida counties on the Gulf Coast. The improvements are mainly attributable to lower unemployment and fewer foreclosures.
The AP's index, which found an increase in nationwide stress levels in June - after easing for four months, calculates a score for each county and state from 1 to 100 based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. A higher score indicates more economic stress (a county is considered stressed when its score exceeds 11).
About 42 percent of the nation's counties were found to be stressed. That was slightly higher than May's reading of 40 percent. Lafayette Parish's stress index rose .97 points from May, to 7.57, and Louisiana's was 9.82, up 1.19 points. The least-stressed state was again North Dakota (4.83) and next came South Dakota (5.02), Nebraska (6.22), Vermont (6.5) and Wyoming (7.33). Nevada, with a score of 21.93, again led the nation as it has for more than a year, followed by Michigan (16.52), California (16.32), Florida (15.6) and Arizona (15.13). View an interactive map of states and counties here.
Read the full AP story here.