Louisiana Unemployment Rate Drops to 7 Percent
Unemployment in Louisiana fell four-tenths of a percent from August to September to seven percent, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The number of unemployed Louisianians dropped from 154,000 in August to 144,000 in September. Dr. Loren Scott, an economist at Louisiana State University, says job markets are healthiest in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Baton Rouge, but the outlook for the rest of the state is not so good.
"Shreveport is struggling with the closure of the General Motors plant which cost them about 800 jobs and with the closure...with the drop of drilling in the Haynesville Shale."
Job growth is slower in New Orleans and Monroe, Scott says, but there are many positive indicators of more jobs.
"In my time of watching the Louisiana economy, I've never known a time when we've had so many potential firms looking at our state," Scott says. "Where we're either number one or number two or they've already picked us out."
Scott believes upturns in the chemicals and oil and gas industries are largely behind the surge.
"The Gulf of Mexico is basically back now," Scott says. "We have almost the same number of drill ships in the Gulf of Mexico as we had before the...spill occurred. So the area around Lafayette and Houma are just rocking and rolling right now."