Concordia Parish’s unemployment rate drops

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 26, 2000

VIDALIA – Concordia Parish, which has reported top-three unemployment rates for several months, posted the state’s fifth-highest jobless rate in August with 9.7 percent.

The number was down from July’s 10.5 percent rate according to figures released Monday by the Louisiana Department of Labor.

While locals are at a loss to explain it, one state labor official said August’s unemployment rate — the parish’s lowest since December — are part of a seasonal trend.

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&uot;More people are looking for work during the early summer,&uot; said Patty Lopez, a labor market analyst with the department.

&uot;By August, young people have either found jobs or have decided to quit looking since school is about to start anyway.&uot;

And Lopez added that if past years are any indication, the trend should continue through this month.

As of Monday afternoon, neither Sally Frazier of the Labor Department’s Ferriday office or Buddy Spillers, president of the Ferriday-based Macon Ridge Economic Development Region, had seen the latest figures.

&uot;And just offhand, I have a reason for it,&uot; said Spillers, whose organization serves most of northeast Louisiana.

August jobless rates for nearby parishes included 10.6 percent in Catahoula Parish and 6.8 percent in Tensas Parish.

East Carroll Parish had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.5 percent while Lincoln Parish, with 2.8 percent, had the state’s lowest rate.

August’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent for Louisiana as a whole versus 4.9 percent one year ago.

Earlier, the state Labor Department said the reduction was due to a drop of about 20,000 in the civilian labor force and 4,400 fewer people listed officially as unemployed.

In August, the economy continued the same pattern with the growth of service-producing jobs far outstripping the creation of goods-producing jobs. The latter category includes petroleum, construction and manufacturing jobs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.