There is more bad news when it comes to job loss in the oil and gas sector. LSU economist Loren Scott says the low gas prices we’ve seen since August of 2014 have really hammered the industry. He says major companies are cutting back their drilling budget dramatically.

“A lot of drilling that’s taking place is taking place on the basis of debt, they borrow money to do this and a lot of them have just run up against some debt obligations that they just can’t keep up. So, you’re seeing layoffs like this.”

Gulf Island LLC based in Houma and Carbo Ceramics in New Iberia plan to lay off nearly 300 workers in June. Scott says there is some opportunity for those laid off to find other work but not enough for everyone who lost their job.

“We’ve been in a downturn for some time, we’re now losing jobs at a rate of 21,000 a year. That’s really heavily concentrated in Houma and Lafayette.”

40 to 50 jobs employees of Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co. in the Gulf of Mexico will also be laid off. Scott says the state is losing jobs at the rate of about 21-thousand a year. And he says a lot of big companies are planning to stop drilling in the Gulf

“That is a foreboding issue for folks in the Houma area especially that service that offshore oil industry very heavily.”