Acadiana Business

Lafayette's jobless rate still lower than state totals

by Heather Miller

Statewide, the total number of jobs decreased by 4,800 due to the education workforce and public and private employers closing for the summer.

Latest unemployment numbers released by the state put Lafayette's unemployment rate at a steady 6.3 percent with the addition of 400 jobs in June. That's almost two percentage points lower than the overall state unemployment rate of 8.1 percent and notably better than the figures listed for Lafayette a year ago.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, 126,635 people were employed in the Lafayette metropolitan statistical area, or MSA (which includes St. Martin Parish) at the end of June. That's 400 more jobs than Lafayette had in May 2011 and roughly 3,000 more than Lafayette had in June 2010.

Statewide, the total number of jobs decreased by 4,800 thanks in part to the education workforce, where public and private employers are closed for the summer:

Survey results for metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) reflected a similar, typical summer pattern of job losses in education. Overall, not seasonally adjusted data show six metro areas added nonfarm jobs and two had decreases from June 2010 to June 2011.

June unemployment rates for the MSA areas were mixed over the month with three areas - Houma at 5.7 percent, Lafayette at 6.3 percent and Lake Charles at 6.9 percent - decreasing from the prior month. The New Orleans MSA at 8.0 percent and Shreveport at 7.3 percent remained the same as the May 2011 rate. The remaining MSAs increased one-tenth of a percent from May to June 2011. Over the year data showed that all of the MSAs followed the state trend with decreases in the unemployment rates for June 2011 compared to June 2010.

Read the full monthly employment statistics press release here.