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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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New figures show Houma-Thibodaux loses another 1,300 jobs

New figures show Houma-Thibodaux loses another 1,300 jobs

Preliminary unemployment figures released this week by the Louisiana Workforce Commission show job losses continue to mount amid a Gulf of Mexico oil bust that has lasted nearly three years.

Houma-Thibodaux lost 1,300 jobs last month and 5,200 over the past year, new figures show.

The metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, had already lost about 14,000 jobs -- over one of every 10 -- since mid-2014 as the low prices sparked layoffs and work slowdowns throughout the oil industry.

Louisiana’s unemployment rate, adjusted for seasonal variations, declined slightly from 5.8 percent in February to 5.7 percent last month, the figures show. It’s the fourth consecutive month of declines.

The state’s civilian labor force, the number of people working or looking for work, grew by 7,100 from the previous month, the figures show.

Nonetheless, seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs decreased by 8,500 statewide in March.

“Most of the jobs lost, 6,700 out of the 8,500, were in the construction sector,” Workforce Commission Executive Director Ava Dejoie said. “This loss may be attributed to the completion of some flood recovery construction.”

The number of people working in the oil and gas industry across the state grew by 200 last month but was down 5,100 from a year ago, the new figures show. It was the second consecutive month of gains for the industry, a main economic driver statewide and locally.

The US unemployment rate was 4.5 percent for March, down from 4.7 percent in February and 5 percent a year ago, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The newest report from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, based on federal data, does not include metro area unemployment rates or details about the categories of jobs lost. That will be included in a revised report scheduled for release Friday.

Houma-Thibodaux’s unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in February, down from 6.8 in January and no change from a year ago, earlier figures show.

Among Louisiana's nine metro areas, Lake Charles was the only area that did not lose jobs in March, according to seasonally adjusted data. Here's a rundown:

Alexandria lost 600 jobs for the month and is down 600 jobs over the year.

Baton Rouge lost 1,600 jobs for the month but is up 3,100 jobs over the year.

Houma-Thibodaux lost 1,300 jobs for the month and is down 5,200 jobs for the year.

Lafayette lost 700 jobs over the month and 7,000 jobs for the year.

Lake Charles remained unchanged for the month but is up 4,500 jobs over the year.

Monroe lost 400 jobs for the month but is up 100 jobs over the year.

New Orleans lost 2,100 jobs over the month and remained unchanged over the year.

Shreveport lost 500 jobs over the month and is down 2,800 jobs over the year.

Hammond is yet to be included in the seasonally adjusted data.