Gov. says April unemployment rate for La. slightly lower than national average, but still more than double usual

Gov. says April unemployment rate for La. slightly lower than national average, but still more than double usual
Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - On Friday, May 22, Governor John Bel Edwards released some information in regards to April’s unemployment figures for the state.

April’s unemployment rate was 14.5%, according to the governor’s office. That’s slightly lower than the national average (14.7%), but still more than double March’s figure (6.7%).

“As Louisiana, like the rest of the nation, works to rebuild our economy, the unprecedented public health emergency brought on by COVID-19 is not only deeply impacting the health of our people but also the health of our economy,” said Gov. Edwards. “However, as we battle this pandemic recession, we know that we have come back before from such challenging times, and we will again. We are committed to helping our people and our businesses get back on their feet in the safest way possible as soon as possible. We know that Louisianans are hardworking and want to work. Through the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Sec. Ava Dejoie, we are committed to connecting businesses and employees. Now more than ever, we must be united in our efforts to keep the coronavirus at bay in order to get our economy moving forward for our employers, workers, communities, and state.”

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The governor’s office says the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has increased its capacity to help people who now find themselves unemployed. Since March 22, LWC has paid out more than $1.8 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits to 493,196 people.

Businesses in Louisiana have also received assistance through the Small Business Administration via the CARES Act. Through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, as of May 16, businesses in the state were approved for 65,158 loans for a total of more than $7.2 billion.

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