With a possible double-dip recession threatening the nation, Louisiana State University economists predict weak job growth for Louisiana in 2012-2013.

 

They say the future of offshore petroleum drilling remains uncertain and the planned closing of a shipyard near New Orleans and the General Motors plant in Shreveport are expected to cost the state thousands of jobs.

The forecast, by LSU economists Loren Scott and James Richardson, predicts 13,700 new jobs in 2012 and 14,800 in 2013 — weak annual growth rates of 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent.

The forecast says the Lake Charles region will be the fastest-growing by percentage of jobs. The New Orleans area is expected to be at the bottom with no overall job growth next year followed by a loss of 600 jobs in 2013.