Jobless rate down in River Parishes L’Observateur / July 7, 1999BATON ROUGE – Jobless rates dropped across the River Parishes during May, according to the Louisiana Department of Labor. Louisiana Secretaryof Labor Garey Forster commented, “Now is truly an exciting time to live and work in Louisiana.”St. James Parish’s jobless rate dropped from 10.6 percent in April to 8.5percent in May, still above the 7.1 percent recorded in May 1998 and stillthe highest unemployment rate in the New Orleans metro area.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 1999

That translates as a drop in those without jobs, from 1,000 to 800 persons, while those with jobs dropped from 8,300 to 8,200 persons.

The New Orleans metro area includes St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammanyparishes.

St. John Parish’s jobless rate plunged, from 6.1 percent in April to 5.1percent in May 1999, well below May 1998’s 5.9 percentage. Those withoutjobs dropped from 1,200 to 1,000 persons, and those with jobs held steady at 18,100 persons.

St. Charles Parish’s unemployment rate improved from 4.2 to 3.4 percent,well below the May 1998 figure of 4.5 percent. Jobless totals went from1,000 to 800 persons, while employed totals dropped from 21,700 to 21,600.

The lowest jobless rate in Louisiana during May was Lincoln Parish (Grambling and Ruston) with 1.7 percent, with 18,610 working and 330unemployed.

The worst Louisiana jobless rate during May was at West Carroll Parish (northeast Louisiana) at 12.4 percent. That rate relected 4,720 employedand 670 persons unemployed. Yet, this was an improvement from April1999’s 16.3 percent.As a whole, the New Orleans metro area enjoyed a 3.2 jobless rate in May1999, down from 3.9 in April and below the 4.8 percent rate in May 1998.Louisiana had a seasonally-adjusted jobless rate of 4.4 percent in May,down from April’s 5.1 percent and below May 1998’s 5.8 percent.

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