Unemployment rate increases in Richland

Unemployment continues to rise in Richland Parish.

According to the latest figures from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the unemployment rate for Richland rose to 8.6 percent in January. That’s up from 7.8 percent the month before and 6.3 percent for January 2008.

This reflects 773 people looking for work in Richland Parish in January as opposed to 698 the previous month and 549 a year ago.

The number of people working in the parish has head fairly stead with 8,265 in January, as compared to 8,276 in December and 8,154 in January 2008.

Lafourche Parish had the state’s lowest unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in

January 2009 while West Carroll Parish had the highest unemployment rate at 16.1 percent.

Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows Louisiana is the only state in the country where the unemployment rate decreased from December to January, to 5.1 percent from 5.5 percent. However, the new data also show a loss of 12,300 jobs and a decline in the labor force from December to January.

The January 2009 unemployment rate for the United States was 7.6 percent, up from the December 2008 rate of 7.2 percent.

“These numbers are a mix of good news along with additional reasons for caution. They validate that our employment picture has been significantly brighter than in the rest of the country for the past year at least, but they also validate that the persistence and depth of the national economic downturn is affecting Louisiana,” LWC Executive Director Barfield said.

“That effect is being felt most sharply in north Louisiana, where there have been significant layoffs, and in certain industries, such as pulp and paper, auto manufacturing, real estate and financial activities,” Barfield said.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – for January was 2,090,557, down from the December revised figure of 2,110,784, but increased by 42,323 from January 2008.

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