Moreover, Louisiana was the only state in the Union to see a decrease in the unemployment rate between December 2009 (5.5 percent) to January 2009 (5.1 percent).
The picture is not so rosy when raw figures not adjusted for seasonal change are used: 5.6 percent for December 2008, 5.7 percent for January 2009.
And, the January record notwithstanding, there was a pretty precipitous drop in both jobs – a loss of 12,300, mostly in north Louisiana – and people looking for work in the moth from December to January.
The employment picture is still a lot better here than in the country as a whole, which went from 7.1 percent in December (7.2 percent adjusted) to 8.5 percent in January (7.6 percent adjusted).
The Louisiana Workforce Commission uses the unadjusted numbers to compare parishes and Metropolitan Statistical Areas, which are clusters of parishes around the state’s major cities.
In those comparisons, Lafayette Parish, with a January unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, lost by a nose to Lafourche Parish – site of the busy offshore terminal Port Fourchon – which had 3.6 percent. And both actually improved a 10th of a percent over December’s unadjusted figures.
Caddo Parish, which has seen layoffs in auto manufacturing, the pulp and paper industry, real estate and finance, had an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent in January, up from 6.4 percent in December and way up from 4.9 percent in January 2008.
Data for February 2009 is expected to be released March 25.