Despite that the Lafayette MSA (which includes St. Martin Parish) gained 1,000 jobs from April to May, the parish’s unemployment rate jumped from 4.7 percent in April to 5.4 percent in May. It was 5 percent a year ago. The metro area’s unemployment rate is 5.6 percent, brought up by 7 percent unemployment in St. Martin Parish.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission attributes the increase in May unemployment to a “usual historic pattern” related to students looking for summer jobs. “Every parish and MSA in the state recorded an increase in their unemployment rate as the number of individuals, 16 years and over, who were either working or actively looking for work increased from April,” the commission notes. Labor force data is estimated from a residence-based sample survey taken around the 12th of each month.
The report shows the state’s nonfarm employment growing by 10,300 jobs from April to May, with gains in every metro in the state. The Baton Rouge area added the most jobs over the month, 1,700, followed by Lake Charles, 1,200, Shreveport, 1,100. New Orleans was up by 500 jobs, Monroe and Alexandria each increased by 400; and Houma had 100 additional nonfarm workers over the month.
Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, used to compare states and the nation, was 6.9 percent in May, statistically unchanged from April. It’s the 10th lowest in the nation.