According to preliminary unemployment numbers released by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Lafayette Parish had a 4.0% unemployment rate for the month of September. The unemployment rate for the Lafayette MSA, which includes Lafayette and St. Martin parishes, was 4.1%, also the lowest in the state.

There was an increase of 13,300 non-farm jobs from September 2011 leading to 166,600 total non-farm jobs. Other sectors saw gains as well, including the service-providing sector that added 8,700 jobs, with the largest increases coming from Health Care and Professional Services adding 2,500 and 2,400 jobs respectively. Goods-producting industries added another 4,600 jobs since last September. Of that, Mining (oil and gas) and Manufacturing saw the largest gains in employment— 2,400 and 1,900 jobs respectively.  All other industries saw employment increases, except the Information and Government sectors which were unchanged over the year.

Gregg Gothreaux, President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, had this to say about the good news:

With the positive employment trend continuing into the fourth quarter and holiday hiring already underway at many establishments, 2012 looks to end on a very high note for Acadiana’s labor force.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September was 7.0% and the national rate was 7.8%.