The Lafayette metro, which includes St. Martin Parish, maintained a 6.3 percent unemployment rate from February to March. Lafayette Parish’s rate went up from 6.0 to 6.1 and St. Martin's remained 7.4, but the change was not sufficient to affect the overall figure.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell from 9.5 to 9.2 percent, and the state’s remained unchanged at 8 percent. The Baton Rouge metro had the largest increase in the state, rising from 8 to 8.2 percent. Lake Charles was the only metro area to fall, coming in at 7.2 percent compared with 7.3 percent in February.

A year ago, Lafayette Parish’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent. The Lafayette metro’s unemployment in March 2010 was 5.5 percent, second only to Houma-Thibodaux’s 5.0. That metro’s current rate is 5.8 percent, solidly the lowest in the state.

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