Local jobless rate up in May

Published 11:02 am Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Washington Parish’s unemployment rate was up over the month in May but showed improvement over the year.

According to figures from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the parish’s jobless rate was 7.4 percent in May, when 14,001 parish citizens were employed and 1,121 were out of work.

May’s rate shows a 1.4 percent increase from April, when unemployment was at 6 percent and 894 members of the parish civilian labor force were without a job.

However, a 1.4 percent decline in the jobless rate was seen from May 2013. That month, the rate was at 8.8 percent, and 1,352 people in the parish were unemployed.

In neighboring St. Tammany Parish, unemployment was at 4.6 percent in May, 3.7 percent in April and 5.4 percent last May.

Nearby Tangipahoa Parish saw a jobless rate of 6.2 percent in May, up 1.1 percent over the month but down 1.2 percent from the same time last year.

Every parish in the state except one — Vernon — saw over-the-year improvement in its unemployment rate. Vernon Parish’s May jobless rate of 6.8 was unchanged from the same time last year.

Statewide, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in May. That figure shows a one-point improvement from the 6.3 percent seen in May 2013 but was up one point from the April 2014 rate of 4.3 percent.

Additionally, the state’s civilian labor force, which includes people employed plus those looking for work, stood at 2,111,407 in May, an increase of 2,072 over the year.

“Our civilian labor force is growing, and our state is sustaining and building on improvements we’ve been reporting for many months,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The nationwide unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in May, 5.9 percent in April and 7.3 percent in May 2013.