Iberville’s jobless rate outpaces the Louisiana’s

Deidre Cruse

Iberville Parish’s expected unemployment rate for March was 8.1 percent, an increase of 2.5 percent from March 2008, according to the latest report from the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The figures included here to not include seasonal fluctuations in the workforce, but overall employment.

The local rate increased by 1.6 percent from February to March, when it was 7.7 percent.

By comparison, the rate for the state of Louisiana has risen from 3.8 percent in March 2008, to 5.5 percent in February and 5.7 percent in March, a 1.9 percent increase over the year.

The local rate is growing at a faster clip than that of the nine-parish Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area as a whole, where jobless numbers have risen from 3.7 percent in March 2008 to 5.1 percent in February and 5.2 percent in March.

A year ago, Iberville’s rate was fewer than two percentage points higher than the rate for the area; in March, it was nearly three percent higher.

Iberville had the second highest rate in the Baton Rouge area, second only to St. Helena Parish, where the rate was 8.4 percent last month, a two percent increase over the previous March.

Last month, the rate in the Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux area was the state’s lowest at 3.6 percent, up less than a point from 2.8 percent in March 2008. West Carroll Parish had the highest rate at 15.3 percent.

Nationally, unemployment has shot up from 5.2 percent in March 2008 to 8.9 percent in February and 9.0 in March, a 3.8 percent increase over the year covered. Some six million Americans lost jobs during that time.

From March 2008 to March of this year, Iberville Parish had 95 fewer jobs, and 63 more people looking for work.