Service, oil industries drive unemployment lower

09 26, 2012 by Daily Advertiser

Lafayette Parish's 4.8 percent unemployment rate was Louisiana's lowest in August, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The August rate is down from 5.3 percent in July.

That means Lafayette Parish has posted the state's lowest jobless rate in seven of the last eight months, Lafayette Economic Development Authority President Gregg Gothreaux said.

The unemployment rate for the Lafayette MSA, which includes Lafayette and St. Martin parishes, was 5 percent, the second-lowest in the state.

Jobs have been added in the service-providing sector, the oil and gas industry, and manufacturing, Gothreaux said.

"Seeing Lafayette Parish consistently having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and state continues the multiyear trend of our community as a top 10 place in the country for job growth, wage growth, middle class growth and GDP growth," Gothreaux said.

"This is a remarkable record of achievement for Lafayette."

There were 165,200 nonfarm jobs in the Lafayette MSA in August, an increase of 14,200 jobs from August 2011.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified Lafayette Parish as having the largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment in the nation, 10.3 percent.

Lafayette Parish's unemployment improvement follows a nationwide trend. The U.S. unemployment rate in August was 8.2 percent, down from 8.6 percent in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates improved in every Louisiana metropolitan statistical area and 63 parishes in August, as the private sector added jobs at an annual rate of 2.5 percent, ranking Louisiana eighth nationally in private sector employment, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported.