Louisiana is standing at the last place in terms of COVID recovery related to jobs losses. Hence, t is difficult for them  to get back to pre-COVID level for many years. Unemployment benefits of $300 was also ended but it did not result in expected job flooding. Louisiana became the first Democratic governed stated to opt out of the unemployment benefits.

Slow Employment Recovery

Louisiana State has only managed to recover 38% of all jobs lost due to pandemic. The employment levels of seven of the nine metros is still 5% or more below from 4th quarter of 2019.  Gary Wagner reported this in Acadiana business economist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Major Challenges

Further, Wagner noted that employment numbers sharply reduced due to Hurricane Ida’s effect. Ida has affected employment numbers in Houma/Thibodaux and New Orleans metro. “At the current pace of recovery, most metro areas will not fully regain their COVID job losses for several years,” Wagner wrote in his quarterly report. The report further stated that statewide growth will increase at an average of 1.6% during the next five quarters. As this pace, Louisiana State may not achieve pre-pandemic levels until the first quarter of 2021.

3,400 jobs were added across the state during the third quarter. Yet, the state added 160,000 fewer jobs than it did in the fourth quarter of 2019. This reflects to 8% drop in state’s employment. In September alone Louisiana’s employment numbers dropped by 1.6% to 1,818,000 which is lowest since September 2020.  Financial sector, wholesale trade, oil and gas extraction and manufacturing lost most of the jobs. State’s unemployment numbers also declined more than the projected number of 6.8% during the third quarter. The number stood at 6.2%. However, it does not include the growing number of people who have exited the workforce. By factoring in that in total, the unemployment rate will be at 9.7%.

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