Concordia jobless rate up in July

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 25, 2000

AP and staff reports

Concordia Parish’s July unemployment rate was the third-highest in Louisiana, according to figures from the State Department of Labor.

The parish posted a 10.8 percent jobless rate for July, down from 12.8 percent in June — which was the second-highest rate in the state for that month.

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Other local jobless rates for July included 11.6 percent for Catahoula Parish, the second-highest rate for the state but lower than that parish’s rate of 12.7 percent for June; and 7.2 percent for Tensas Parish, down from 9.3 percent in June.

For the state as a whole, non-farm employment figures for July were a mixed bag.

Although Louisiana’s non-farm employment growth is being fueled largely by service-producing jobs, the state has added 1,000 petroleum jobs over the past year and another 3,500 to the construction sector, while manufacturing positions continue to decline.

Louisiana’s non-farm employment is up by 15,200 jobs over the past 12 months, with 13,000 coming in service-producing sectors.

The June 1999-through-June 2000 comparison showed an increase of 14,400.

Total goods-producing jobs are up by 2,200 with gains in petroleum and construction partially offset by a 2,100-job drop in manufacturing from July 1999 through July 2000, the state labor department reported Friday. From June to July, though, good-producing jobs were up by 1,800, including a 400-job gain in manufacturing.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate fell from 4.7 percent in June to 4.5 percent in July, the 17th consecutive month a record low jobless rates for the state.

Because the jobless rate is computed by a wide variety of factors that can cause sudden swings, economists prefer to use year-by-year non-farm job growth figures as the chief gauge of the state’s employment health.

Among the state’s metropolitan areas:

Baton Rouge is up by 5,800 non-farm jobs over the past 12 months, including 3,500 in service-producing sectors and 2,300 in goods-producing sectors.

New Orleans is up by 2,100 non-farm jobs, the result of a 4,200 gain in service-producing jobs and the loss of 2,100 goods-producing jobs, including 800 in petroleum, 400 in construction and 1,100 in manufacturing.

Shreveport-Bossier City is up by 300 non-farm jobs. The service-producing sector had a gain of 600, while goods-producing dropped by 300.

Alexandria has seen a gain of 600 non-farm jobs, all in the goods-producing sector.

The Houma-Thibodaux area gained 200 jobs, all in service-producing. Petroleum jobs are up by 400 from July 1999 through July 2000.

Lafayette is up by 900 non-farm jobs, including 200 in goods-producing and 700 in service-producing. The petroleum industry has added 500 jobs.

Lake Charles has lost 700 non-farm jobs. A 200-job gain in goods-producing sectors was wiped out by a 900-job loss in the service-producing sector.

Monroe is up by 800 non-farm jobs — a gain of 900 in the service-producing sector, offset partially by a 100-job loss in goods-producing positions.