St. Mary Parish jobless rate drops by 1.4% in a year
BATON ROUGE, La. — The St. Mary Parish unemployment rate dropped from 8 percent in February 2012 to 6.6 percent this February, the federal Bureau of Labor reported Monday.
During the same period, the state unemployment rate decreased from 6.8 percent in February 2012 to 5.8 percent this February.
The job numbers are adjusted for seasonal factors such as weather and holidays.
St. Mary Parish’s February unemployment rate also dropped from 8 percent in January, the bureau stated in the report released by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
The state jobless rate also dropped from 7.2 percent in January to 5.8 percent in February.
Louisiana’s private sector added 29,900 jobs over the year in February, an increase of 1.9 percent.
Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment in Louisiana rose in February to 1,944,000, according to the bureau’s monthly survey of employers. Private sector employment grew over the year for the 30th consecutive month in Louisiana to 1,596,500 in February, an over-the-month increase of 9,800 jobs.
“Employers continue to add and create jobs, and our work force is stronger than it was a year ago,” said Curt Eysink, Louisiana Workforce Commission executive director.
There were 433 fewer people looking for work in February than a year ago in St. Mary Parish.
St. Mary Parish’s work force in February was 21,297 with 1,512 people looking for a job. The parish work force was up from 21,185 in January and 21,058 in February 2012. There were 1,945 people searching for a job in February 2012 in St. Mary Parish.
Over-the-year job growth occurred in various sectors and across multiple regions of the state, the report stated. Goods-producing employers added 8,900 jobs, a growth rate of 2.8 percent, while the state’s construction industry added 8,900 jobs, a 7.2 percent increase, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment figures showed.
As well as its monthly survey of businesses, the BLS conducts a survey of households to calculate the civilian labor force, which is the total number of people working plus those looking for work. Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force grew in February to 2,095,646, an increase of 12,240 over the year. The number of employed was 1,968,925, an increase of 29,027 over the year, while the number of unemployed declined by 16,787 over the year in February to 126,721.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was 6 percent, up slightly from January’s revised rate of 5.9 percent, but down from the February 2012 rate of 6.9 percent. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 7.7 percent. The South regional average rate was 7.3 percent, with Louisiana showing the third best rate in the region.
The not seasonally adjusted rate improved over the year in all eight metro areas in February:
Alexandria, 5.8 percent, down from 6.8 percent in February 2012;
Baton Rouge, 5.5 percent, down from 6.8 percent;
Houma, 4.0 percent, down from 4.9 percent;
Lafayette, 4.2 percent, down from 5.1 percent;
Lake Charles, 5.2 percent, down from 6.2 percent;
Monroe, 6.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent;
New Orleans, 5.9 percent, down from 6.8 percent;
Shreveport, 6.3 percent, down from 6.5 percent.