Late summer unemployment jumps again in Louisiana

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Last week’s new applications for benefits was nearly 13 times more than the same period in 2019.

BATON ROUGE, La. (WDSU) – The late summer swoon for job prospects in Louisiana continued last week, with 23,390 residents filing new claims for temporary unemployment insurance. The number was 44.5% higher than the previous week — and nearly 13 times more than claims from the same week in 2019 — according to the U.S. Employment and Training Administration.

Jobless claims have been on the rise in Louisiana since Aug. 22, when the four-week rolling average reached a pandemic-low of 12,856.

The coronavirus continues to dampen employment around the country. Nationally, applications for unemployment benefits are more than four times higher than they were a year ago. Peak pandemic unemployment in Louisiana occurred in early April, when more than 100,000 claims were filed in one week.

Louisiana’s latest jobless data doesn’t reflect the impact of Hurricane Laura, which caused substantial damage in southwest Louisiana. Labor officials expect the recovery to eventually generate new jobs, but businesses that cannot reopen are expected to contribute to the unemployment rate at least temporarily.

At the end August, 232,619 people in Louisiana were receiving continued unemployment benefits. That represents 12.3% of the state’s eligible workforce.

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