Congressman Steve Scalise today issued the following statement after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a comprehensive list of over-the-year change in unemployment rates for metropolitan areas across the country. The statistics compare March of 2010 with March of 2011 and highlight the impact of the offshore drilling moratorium on Louisiana's economy and unemployment figures. Eight of the 11 areas with the largest increase in unemployment are Louisiana metropolitan areas.
"The unemployment figures released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlight the disastrous impact that President Obama's failed energy polices and reckless drilling moratorium have had on families and small businesses throughout Louisiana in the last year," Scalise said. "Just the other week, President Obama boasted that he was going to ship more energy jobs to Brazil at the same time we are losing energy jobs here in America due to his reckless permitorium, all while gas prices continue to skyrocket. As gas prices approach $4 a gallon, we cannot afford to lose more jobs due to the President's reckless and politically-driven permitorium."
Baton Rouge was the hardest hit metropolitan area in the nation over the last year with a 1.6 percent spike in unemployment. New Orleans came in third with a 1.3 percent jump. Lake Charles and Lafayette came in ninth and tenth, showing unemployment increases of .9 percent and .8 percent respectively. Unemployment in Louisiana jumped from 6.8 percent in March of 2010 to 8 percent in March of 2011.
The complete list of 372 metro areas can be found on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at http://www.bls.gov/web/metro/laummtch.htm.