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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Houma-Thibodaux area loses 700 jobs for month

Houma-Thibodaux area loses 700 jobs for month

Both the number of jobs and the number of employed individuals in Louisiana dropped in July, according to seasonally-adjusted data released recently by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Houma-Thibodaux area alone lost 700 jobs last month as a two-year oil-industry downturn continues, new state figures show.

The jobless rate for the metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, was 7.2 percent, down slightly from 7.4 percent in June and up from 5.8 percent a year ago, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported.

“The Louisiana Workforce Commission is working tirelessly in coordination with our partners across the state to put people to work in fulfilling, family-sustaining careers,” said LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie.

In July, the area was down 3,800 jobs compared to a year ago, the figures show. But compared to July 2014, when crude prices began the decline that has decimated jobs locally and throughout the global oil industry, Houma-Thibodaux has lost 8,500 jobs.

The number of nonfarm jobs in the area now totals 93,300. In July 2014, that number was 101,800.

For the 18th straight month, oilfield jobs were down compared to a year earlier. However, numbers held steady in some oilfield job categories between June and July.

Locally, oil and gas exploration and production jobs totaled 6,800 in July, the same as June but down 1,200, or 15 percent, from a year ago, according to the report. Oilfield service jobs rose by 100 for the month to total 5,900, but that was still down 1,100, about 16 percent, compared to a year ago.

Another oilfield-related category called "support activities for transportation," which includes mostly jobs in the area's offshore maritime industry, employed 5,500 people in July, down 100 for the month and 600 for the year.

Administrative and support services, which also includes mostly oilfield-related workers, employed 3,500 people locally in July, down 100 for the month and 300 for the year.

Among other figures in Friday's report:

-- Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in July, down from 7 percent in June and up from 6.6 percent a year ago.

-- The U.S. jobless rate in July, 5.1 percent, held steady for the month and was down from 5.6 percent a year ago.

-- Terrebonne's jobless rate was 7.4 percent in July, down from 7.7 percent in June and up from 6.1 percent a year ago.

-- Lafourche posted a 6.9 percent unemployment rate last month, down from 7.0 in June but up from 5.5 percent in July 2015.

-- Alexandria gained 100 jobs over the month and 200 jobs over the year.

-- Baton Rouge gained 600 jobs over the month and 9,500 jobs over the year.

-- Houma lost 700 jobs over the month and 3,800 jobs over the year.

-- Lake Charles gained 700 jobs over the month and 3,100 jobs over the year.

-- Monroe gained 100 jobs over the month and 500 jobs over the year.

-- New Orleans lost 300 jobs over the month and gained 3,000 jobs over the year.

The BLS does not report seasonally-adjusted data for Hammond, Lafayette and Shreveport because of changes in those areas’ demographics. Not-seasonally-adjusted data for July showed:

-- Hammond lost 200 jobs over the month and was unchanged over the year.

-- Lafayette lost 1,600 jobs over the month and 7,300 jobs over the year.

-- Shreveport gained 500 jobs over the month and 300 jobs over the year.