Unemployment ticks upward in St. Mary
Unemployment in St. Mary Parish edged upward in May, going from April’s revised jobless rate of 8 percent to 8.5 percent.
The number of employed climbed by 27 from April to May, from 21,092 to 21,119; but the number of jobless increased more than 100, from 1,830 to 1,964. The May rate is better than May 2011, when unemployment was 9.1 percent; 20,899 were employed and 2,085 were jobless at that time.
Joblessness also climbed in Assumption Parish, where 95 more people were employed in May, but 60 more were unemployed. That moved parish unemployment from 8.9 percent to 9.3 percent. Unemployment was 10.9 percent in May 2011.
Unemployment rose from 5.9 percent to 6.5 percent in May in Iberia Parish.
The jobless rate in St. Martin Parish rose from 5.4 percent to 6 percent in May; no separate calculation is made for Lower St. Martin. St. Martin is part of the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an increase from 4.5 percent to 5.1 percent. Lafayette Parish’s jobless rate increased from 4.3 percent to 4.9 percent.
The Lafayette MSA is now tied with the Houma-Thibodaux-Bayou Cane MSA, which also posted a 5.1 percent rate. The Houma MSA traditionally has had the lowest unemployment rate in the state. In the individual constituent parishes, Terrebonne’s unemployment increased from 4.5 percent to 5.2 percent, while Lafourche Parish’s rate increased from 4.3 percent to 5 percent.
LaSalle Parish in central Louisiana also recorded 5.1 percent unemployment.
Among parishes similar in size to St. Mary, jobless rates included St. Charles, 6.7 percent; St. John the Baptist, 8.6 percent; Acadia, 6.4 percent; Lincoln, 8.8 percent; Vermilion, 6.2 percent; Vernon, 6.9 percent; and Webster, 7.6 percent.
Double-digit unemployment persists in East Carroll, West Carroll, Morehouse, Franklin, Tensas, Madison, Iberville, St. Helena and St. James. The state’s highest rate is again in East Carroll, which posted 16.8 percent unemployment.
The civilian labor force and employment in Louisiana continued to grow in May, according to federal figures released today.
The civilian labor force — an estimate of the number of people working plus the number looking for work — grew by 16,789 over the month and 17,583 over the year to a seasonally unadjusted total of 2,079,716, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which prepares the estimates. The number of people working increased on a seasonally unadjusted basis by 1,785 over the month and by 17,918 over the year to a total of 1,932,131 in May.
The number of unemployed was up by 15,004 over the month and down by 335 over the year to a total of 147,585 in May. Because these figures are not adjusted for seasonal employment patterns, they are heavily influenced by school, college and university employees who are taking summer breaks.
Based on those numbers, which are estimated from a survey of households, the state’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in May, up 0.7 percent over the month and down 0.1 percent over the year. The national rate increased by 0.2 percent over the month to 7.9 percent and the Southern Region rate increased by 0.3 percent over the month to 7.6 percent.
The seasonally unadjusted unemployment figures for all eight of Louisiana’s metropolitan statistical areas and their change over the year are:
—Alexandria: 7.1 percent, up 0.2 percent over the year
—Baton Rouge: 7.1 percent, down 0.2 percent over the year
—Houma: 5.1 percent, down 0.4 percent over the year
—Lafayette: 5.1 percent, down 0.7 percent over the year
—Lake Charles: 6.9 percent, up 0.2 percent over the year
—Monroe: 7.7 percent, up 0.2 percent over the year
—New Orleans: 7.2 percent, up 0.2 percent over the year
—Shreveport: 7.0 percent, up 0.4 percent over the year
BLS uses separate surveys of employers to estimate nonfarm employment. According to BLS, Louisiana’s total seasonally unadjusted nonfarm employment for April was 1,953,600. The number of seasonally unadjusted private sector jobs for April 2012 was 1,589,400.
Louisiana’s total seasonally unadjusted nonfarm employment for May was 1,949,200, a decrease of 4,400 jobs over the month but an increase of 39,800 jobs over the year. Seasonally unadjusted private sector jobs in May totaled 1,586,000, down 3,400 jobs over the month and up 38,200 jobs over the year. The decrease over the month was led by the seasonal drop in employment of 3,300 in Education and Health Services and a decrease of 1,300 in state government as both public and private schools, colleges, and universities closed or reduced operations for the summer.