Area unemployment rate continues to climb

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Unemployment in the River Parish region continued to shoot skyward in June according to data released Friday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

While all three parishes — St. Charles, St. James and St. John — all showed increases, the number jumped more than two points in St. Charles.

St. Charles, at 6.7 percent, has the lowest unemployment in the area — up 2.3 points from May’s rate of 5.4 percent. In June there were 1,824 persons out-of-work and 25,391 drawing a paycheck in St. Charles. A year ago the rate was only 4.4 percent with more than 1,000 additional people working and 600 fewer in the unemployment lines.

In St. John Parish the increase was 1.5 points, from 7.1 percent in May to 8.6 percent in June. There were 21,477 employed and 2,012 out-of-work. That compares to a year ago when the rate was 5.3 percent. At that time there were 22,319 working and 1,245 out-of-work.

In St. James Parish, the unemployment rate increased from 8.8 percent to 10.7 percent. While the workforce increased a bit in St. James (8,500 from 8,423), those persons out of work had a bigger increase, from 813 to 1,014. A year ago, the rate in St. James was 7.4 percent.

The state’s lowest unemployment rate was in neighboring Lafourche Parish at 5.2 percent. Two other parishes in the state had rates lower than 6 percent — Terrebonne at 5.5 and St. Tammany at 5.7.

The highest rates in the state were found in North Louisiana, where West Carroll (Oak Grove) hit 17 percent, Morehouse (Bastrop) his 16.9 and Union (Farmerville) hit 15.1 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate for June was 7.7 percent while the national rate was 9.7 percent.