The Houma metro area’s January unemployment rate of 3.7 percent is the lowest in the country, with Lafayette not far behind. The Lafayette metro, which includes St. Martin Parish, is 3.9 percent — creating quite a gap with Baton Rouge, the next lowest in the state.

Unemployment rates were higher in January of this year versus January 2008 in 371 of the 372 metro areas and unchanged in one area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday. Fourteen areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15 percent, while 23 areas registered rates below 5 percent. The national unemployment rate in January was 8.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted, up from 5.4 percent a year earlier.


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