June 19–Houma-Thibodaux lost 100 jobs last month but was up 400 compared to a year ago, new figures show.
It is the fifth straight month of over-the-year gains, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
The metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, has lost roughly 16,000 jobs — nearly one of every five — since mid-2014 as low crude prices sparked layoffs and work slowdowns throughout the oil industry. The U.S. industry has rebounded along with oil prices, but job growth has been limited mostly to inland shale fields, where drilling is less costly than the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
If the figures hold until revised data are released later this week, area jobs will have remained steady overall since the start of 2018. Houma-Thibodaux lost 1,300 jobs in January, gained 1,300 in February, lost 100 in March and gained 200 in April.
The revised report will also include metro area unemployment rates and more details about the categories of jobs lost or gained.
Houma-Thibodaux’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in March, up from 4.4 percent in March but down from 5.6 percent in April 2017, earlier figures show.
The latest figures are adjusted for seasonal variations, including temporary jobs businesses add or eliminate routinely at certain times of the year.
Louisiana posted a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.6 percent last month, down 0.7 percentage points compared to a year ago but up 0.1 points for the month.
Nonetheless, state officials said, it is the lowest unemployment rate for May since 2008. The number of unemployed Louisiana residents declined over the year by 14,468.
“Louisiana’s employment outlook has shown marked improvement in the last year, with more job seekers finding opportunities to advance their careers,” Workforce Commission Executive Director Ava Dejoie said in a news release.
Statewide, construction gained 2,300 jobs over the month and 3,200 jobs over the year. Professional and business services added 500 jobs over the month and 7,000 over the year. Leisure and hospitality gained 600 jobs for the month and 6,700 over the year, reaching a record 238,400.
Oil and gas production and exploration jobs declined by 400 for the month and 100 over the year across Louisiana, ending three straight over-the-month gains.
— Executive Editor Keith Magill can be reached at 857-2201 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CourierEditor.
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