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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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Houma-Thibodaux area down 1,700 jobs over year

Houma-Thibodaux area down 1,700 jobs over year

New figures recently released show that the Houma-Thibodaux area lost 1,700 jobs over the 12 months ending Oct. 31, more than any other Louisiana metro area.

Jobs remained steady from September to October in the metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, according to figures released Wednesday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The area continues to struggle from a Gulf of Mexico oil bust that started in mid-2014. Since then, more than 25,000 fewer people have jobs locally, state figures show, a loss of more than one of every four. The U.S. industry has rebounded along with oil prices, but job growth has been limited mostly to inland shale fields, where drilling is quicker and less costly than the deep waters of the Gulf.

Houma-Thibodaux posted a 4.4% unemployment rate in September, down from 4.6% in August and 4.9% in September 2018. The year-to-year rate dropped because the area’s workforce, defined as a combination of people working or looking for jobs, has shrunk. People who have moved away, gone back to school or otherwise stopped looking for work locally are not counted as unemployed.

Louisiana posted a 4.5% unemployment rate in October, Wednesday’s figures show. That’s up from 4.3% in September but down from 4.9% in October 2018. Only five states, Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia and Alaska, and Washington, D.C., posted higher jobless rates.

October job gains and losses for Louisiana metro areas, adjusted for seasonal variations:

- Alexandria: Down 200 jobs from September and 300 from October 2018.

- Baton Rouge: Up 500 jobs for the month and 4,500 from a year ago. The area is at record employment with 414,100 jobs.

- Hammond: Up 400 jobs from September and 900 compared to October 2018. The area is also at record employment with 46,500 jobs.

- Houma-Thibodaux: Unchanged from September and down 1,700 jobs from October 2018.

- Lafayette: Up 100 jobs for the month and 1,600 from a year ago.

- Lake Charles: Down 500 jobs for the month but up 200 for the year.

- Monroe: Down 600 jobs from September and 800 from October 2018.

- New Orleans: Down 500 jobs for the month but up 8,600 from a year ago.

- Shreveport: Up 300 jobs for the month but down 1,600 from October 2018.