Natchitoches Parish at lower end of wage spectrum across state

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The Southwest Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Parish Employment and Wages in Louisiana – First Quarter 2017 Oct. 2. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted the following highlights:

• Employment rose in two of the seven largest parishes in Louisiana from March 2016 to March 2017; nationally, employment was up in 299 of the 346 largest U.S. counties. The rate of job growth in Calcasieu Parish (1.8 percent) exceeded the U.S. average (1.6 percent).

• Among the seven largest parishes in Louisiana, employment was highest in East Baton Rouge (268,700) in March 2017, followed by Orleans (191,700) and Jefferson (190,700).

• Orleans had the highest average wage among the largest parishes at $1,023 per week, followed by East Baton Rouge ($1,009, 154th); nationally, average weekly wages stood at $1,111. From the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, East Baton Rouge recorded the greatest increase in average weekly wages among the large Louisiana parishes, with a gain of 7.7 percent, ranking 73rd among the 346 large U.S. counties. Nationally, average weekly wages increased 6.6 percent over the year.

Employment and wage levels (but not over-the-year changes) are also available for the 57 parishes in Louisiana with employment below 75,000. (See chart 1.) In five of these smaller parishes, wages not only exceeded the U.S. average, but were also the highest in the state, ranging from $1,491 in Cameron to $1,319 in Plaquemines.

East Carroll and Franklin had the lowest weekly wages in the state, both at $558.