Louisiana is one of just two states to see a decline in median wages between 2013 and 2016, according to Governing magazine’s analysis of federal data. LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott says that’s not surprising because the Bayou State has been in a recession since August of 2015.

“We’ve been losing jobs over that entire time period, and most of it’s in the oil and gas industry or industries closely associate with the oil and gas extraction industry, and those are very high wage jobs,” Scott said.

Delaware was the only other state to see a decline in wages. The report finds Louisiana’s median hourly wage fell by 0.5 percent to $15.43 last year. Scott says the real surprise is that we didn’t lose more in terms of wage values. But he says the industry could rebound.

“The Gulf of Mexico is going to come back. We’re going to start drilling out there again. Then you’re going to start seeing people getting employed in this very high wage industry, and I think you’ll see that number start popping up,” Scott said.

Scott says anytime you lose jobs in a high paying field like oil and gas, you should expect median wages to decrease.

“This is a loss of jobs, and a lot of jobs, in very high wage industries, and when you have that, you’re average wage is going to go down,” Scott said.