Located along the banks of the Vermilion River, Lafayette's population is close to 120,600, making it the fourth-largest city in Louisiana. The National Bureau of Economic Research recently ranked Lafayette as the happiest city in the country based on life satisfaction data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People who live here enjoy a fine educational system. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second-largest university in the state and one of the top-ranked universities in the South. Additionally, those seeking a higher education can attend South Louisiana Community College. This college offers over 30 technical programs including nursing, business and automotive repair.
Those living in Lafayette enjoy a cost of living that's 8 percent lower than the state average and 12.3 percent lower than the national average. That means that people already living here or currently seeking jobs in Lafayette, LA spend less on utilities, housing, health care and groceries when compared with the rest of the country. Here, residents can spend $3.39 on coffee, which is 24.5 percent lower than the national average.
Lafayette Job Opportunities
Manufacturing and fabrication have always been leading providers of jobs in Lafayette. In fact, Stuller, Inc., which is the largest jewelry and settings manufacturer in the world, operates out of Lafayette and has around 1,200 employees. However, a growing number of Lafayette, LA jobs are now coming from technology. A few of the larger information technology companies providing Louisiana jobs include Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise, Presidio Networked Solutions, National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies Institute and Center for Business and Information Technologies.
However, if one is struggling to find Lafayette jobs, he or she can also look for employment in New Iberia. This nearby city is the tenth largest in Louisiana. Some of the top employers in the area include Morton Salt Company, Cardinal Oilfield Services, Iberia Medical Center and Iberia Parish School Board of Education.
Lafayette Employment Trends
The unemployment rate in Lafayette is at 4.9 percent. This is lower than both the state unemployment rate of 5.4 percent and the national unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. This could also be one reason Forbes ranked Lafayette fourteenth in the country in terms of job growth. The magazine estimated that the area has seen 5.9 percent job growth over the past six years. They also predict that the area will continue to see 2.5 percent growth in jobs over the next year.