Unemployment rate falls in every parish, metro area

Louisiana’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in April, an improvement of 1.5 percentage points from a year earlier.

“Every region of our state has grown stronger, and we have more people working,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “Louisiana continues to be a great place for people to find a job, and the outlook is bright.”

The nation’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in April.

In Louisiana, unemployment rates improved in all 64 parishes and all eight metropolitan statistical areas in April, the LWC reported.

The Baton Rouge metropolitan area gained the most nonfarm jobs (9,500) over the past 12 months. The New Orleans metro was second, with an increase of 6,900 nonfarm jobs.

Unemployment in the Baton Rouge metro was 4.1 percent, down from 5.5 percent in April 2013.

The New Orleans metro area had an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points over the same span.

Only 3.3 percent of people in the Lafayette metropolitan area were unemployed last month, a drop of 1 percentage point from April 2013.

There also were yearly unemployment dips in April in the other metro areas: Alexandria, 4.4 percent, down 1.4 percentage points; Houma, 3 percent, a 1-point decrease; Lake Charles, 3.9 percent, down 1.5 points; Monroe, 4.7 percent, down 1.5 points, and Shreveport, 4.8 percent, down 1.6 points.

The seasonally unadjusted figures showed Louisiana’s nonfarm employment climbed to nearly 1.97 million, a bump of 16,400 over employment in April 2013 and 8,200 more than in March of this year.

Louisiana’s civilian labor force, which includes unemployed people looking for work, increased to nearly 2.1 million. That was 4,615 more than the unadjusted total for April 2013.

Unemployed Louisiana residents totaled 90,880 in April’s seasonally unadjusted numbers, a decrease of 30,780 over the past 12 months.

The LWC report noted that seasonally unadjusted data are useful for comparing trends in parishes and metropolitan statistical areas. Seasonally adjusted data will be used for comparisons among states and the nation.