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Almost 15,000 unemployment claims filed in Lafayette Parish since March 15

Nearly 15,000 unemployment claims were filed in Lafayette Parish since March 15, part of almost 33,000 filed in Acadiana since coronavirus measures began to shut down the local and national economy.

Last week there were 13,436 claims filed in Acadiana, including 5,554 in Lafayette Parish, both the largest in the three weeks since many businesses and schools were ordered to close and shelter-in-place mandates were issued to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to data released by One Acadiana on Thursday.

“As we continue to collect data sets and evaluate COVID-19’s impact on our region, it’s clear various sectors of the economy will experience different rates of recovery unique to the challenges each faces,” One Acadiana President and CEO Troy Wayman said. “Tracking this data will help inform our response as we work closely with local and regional partners to build a recovery strategy.”

In Lafayette Parish, there were 14,821 claims filed in the past three weeks. A total of 272,010 were filed in Louisiana during that time. 

If all claims were accepted, it would mark a 250% increase from the previous month for the region and a 300% increase for the state with unemployment rates jumping to 16% for the region and 17% for the state, One Acadiana officials said. The region reported 13,061 claims filed in February, part of the 89,797 filed statewide. 

In Lafayette Parish, 3,919 claims were filed the week of March 15-21 and 5,348 were filed the week of March 22-28. More than 1,000 claims were also filed in St. Landry and Iberia parishes during those weeks, data shows, with 1,479 claims filed in Iberia Parish last week.

Statewide 102,172 claims were filed last week.

Other indications of the virus’ effect on the economy include:

  • Hotel occupancy rate in Lafayette Parish down 61.3% from 58.6 the week of March 1-7 to 24.1% last week. Revenue is down 73.7% from $1.9 million March 1-7 to $560,946 last week.
  • Passenger counts at Lafayette Regional Airport plummeted from 4,110 the week of March 1-7 to 557 last week, a drop of 86.4%.

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