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Wednesday, November 14, 2018



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Houma-Thibodaux loses another 400 jobs, report shows

Houma-Thibodaux loses another 400 jobs, report shows

Preliminary figures, released Friday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, show a global crude glut that has persisted three years continues to take a toll on both the local and state oil-based economies.

Houma-Thibodaux lost 400 jobs last month and 4,400 over the past year, new figures show.

The metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, has lost more than one of every 10 of its jobs -- roughly 14,000 total -- since mid-2014 as low oil prices sparked layoffs and work slowdowns throughout the industry.

Statewide, the report shows, jobs in oil and gas production and exploration declined by 1,000 in May and are down 4,200 compared to a year ago.

Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.7 percent in May was down from 5.8 percent in April and 6.2 percent a year ago, the report says.

The state gained 10,500 nonfarm jobs in May, bringing the total to nearly 2 million, the greatest gain since July 2011. However, the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force, the number of people employed or looking for work, decreased by 2,410 last month, the report says.

In the U.S., the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in May, down from 4.4 percent in April and 4.7 percent a year ago, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall, the U.S. oil industry has begun to rebound, but the growth has been limited to inland shale fields, where drillers can profit at prices of $40 a barrel or lower. In the Gulf, analysts and economists say, the break-even price is about $60 a barrel, though innovation and increased efficiency are pushing that figure lower.

While the U.S. rig count has risen a record 22 straight weeks, the Gulf of Mexico rig count, a key barometer for Houma-Thibodaux’s oil-based economy, stood at 21, the same as the previous week as well as a year ago, according to figures released Friday by Houston-based oilfield services company Baker-Hughes.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and hit a low of 404 in May 2016.

Houma-Thibodaux’s unemployment rate remained at 6.2 percent for a third consecutive month in April, barely budging from 6.3 percent a year ago, earlier figures show.

Among Louisiana’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), seasonally adjusted data showed:

• Alexandria remained unchanged for the month, but is down 700 jobs over the year.

• Baton Rouge lost 1,200 jobs for the month, but is up 2,600 jobs over the year.

• Houma lost 400 jobs for the month and is down 4,400 jobs over the year.

• Lafayette gained 500 jobs for the month, but is down 2,600 jobs over the year.

• Lake Charles gained 1,600 jobs for the month and is up 5,000 jobs over the year.

• Monroe lost 300 jobs for the month, but is up 300 jobs over the year.

• New Orleans remained unchanged for the month, but is down 500 jobs over the year.

• Shreveport lost 200 jobs for the month and is down 2,600 jobs over the year.

• Hammond gained 300 jobs for the month and is up 600 jobs over the year.

Louisiana's jobless rate is third-highest among states, with Alaska worst at 6.7 percent.