Weekly jobless claims decrease in Louisiana

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Oct. 19 decreased to 2,311, compared with 2,513 a week earlier.

The state’s labor department said the four-week moving average of initial claims decreased to 2,397 from the previous week’s average of 2,443.

Continued unemployment claims for the week ending Oct. 19 increased to 22,949 compared with the previous week’s total of 22,760.

The four-week moving average of such claims decreased to 23,138 from the previous week’s average of 23,368.

Ralph’s Market opening St. Tammany location

Ralph’s Market is set to open a store in West St. Tammany Parish that will anchor the Copperstill Marketplace shopping center.

The 35,000 square foot store at the intersection of La. 1077 and La. 1085 set to open in early fall 2014. This will be the fourth Ralph’s Market, joining locations in Gonzales, Baton Rouge and Pelican Point.

Brandon Trosclair, managing partner for Ralph’s, said the St. Tammany location will be “high-energy and customer-interactive.”

Along with Ralph’s, Copperstill will include 9,000 square feet of speciality shops and two outparcels for banks, restaurants or other uses.

Four La. companies make list of best healthcare businesses

The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency in Metairie ranked highest among the four Louisiana companies on Modern Healthcare’s 2013 list of the 100 “Best Places to Work in Healthcare.”

The agency, which has 130 employees, ranked No. 12. Woman’s Hospital of Baton Rouge, which has 1,718 employees, ranked No. 68. Covington-based Gilsbar, a health and benefit management firm with 305 employees, ranked No. 78. Franklin Foundation Hospital in Franklin, which has 165 employees, ranked No. 80.

Home Federal sees third quarter earning decline

Shreveport-based Home Federal Bancorp Inc. of Louisiana reported third-quarter earnings dropped to $713,000, or 33 cents per share, compared to $939,000, or 35 cents per share, a year ago.

The decrease was mainly the result of a $327,000 drop in non-interest income and a $121,000 increase in non-interest expense, the company said. The company partially offset those results with a $54,000 increase in net interest income and a $123,000 decrease in income taxes.