Unemployment rate down in Concordia

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2004

FERRIDAY, La. &045; The good April weather put farmers in the fields, construction workers to work and the parish unemployment rates down from March.

For Concordia Parish, the unemployment rate was down from the revised March rate of 11 percent to a preliminary 9.6 percent in April.

The state, however, saw an increase from a 5.5 percent revised rate in March to a preliminary 5.9 percent for April.

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Sally Frazier, the workforce development officer with the state labor department job service in Ferriday, said the parish’s rates do not always mirror the state rates because the parish relies so much on agriculture for employment.

&uot;Because we are such a community that depends mostly on our farming, logging, construction and the oil industry, we are not as diversified with our jobs&uot; as are metropolitan areas that have steady jobs like industry.

The weather, and mainly the rain, determine a lot about employment in Concordia Parish. And the spring time usually means people can get back in the fields to work, Frazier said.

&uot;Mostly the weather has allowed people to get back in the field for farming&uot; in April, Frazier said.

Before the heavy rains on May hit, farmers throughout the parish said they were seeing one of the best planting seasons in years.