Louisiana cities expected to see slower job growth in late 2023
Louisiana is expected to see slower job growth in the second half of 2023, the latest economic forecast from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette shows.
The state is forecasted to add around 7,000 new jobs in the remainder of the year, the new report from UL Lafayette’s B.I. Moody III College of Business shows, with the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas seeing the most growth.
“Consistent with last quarter’s report, recession risks are most elevated in the second half of 2023,” wrote Gary Wagner, a UL Lafayette economics professor and the forecast’s author. “GDP growth in the state is expected to remain close to zero for the next year, and job growth in every metropolitan area is expected to slow in the second half of the year.”
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Here’s what the report says for each area:
The Alexandria area had around 62,800 jobs in the first quarter, which was around half a percent lower than what the February forecast projected. The latest forecast shows the metro area with around 62,100 jobs in the second quarter, a forecasted drop of around 700 jobs or 1.1%.
In the February forecast, the area was expected to lose only 100 jobs between the first and second quarters – a decline of around 0.2%. The new report shows a significantly larger drop between the two quarters.
Between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, the area lost around 200 jobs for a decline of 0.3%. The earlier report had the area adding around 200 jobs for a 0.3% increase instead.
The report shows that the Alexandria area has around 1.8% more jobs than it did at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Baton Rouge area had around 418,700 jobs in the first quarter, which was significantly higher than the forecasted job total in the previous report. But the latest report included updated figures for many previous quarters, so the difference – around 15,600 or 3.9% more jobs – may have more to do with the updated figures.
The new forecast shows the area with 419,500 jobs for the second quarter of 2023, adding a projected 800 jobs or 0.2% growth. The earlier forecast had the region gaining 700 jobs, which is also around 0.2% growth.
The old forecast had the area gaining 600 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 for a 0.1% increase. The Baton Rouge area ended up adding 3,600 jobs for 0.9% growth.
Compared to February 2020, the Baton Rouge area has around 2.5% more jobs.
The Hammond metro area had around 47,900 jobs in the first quarter, which was around 700 jobs or 1.5% higher than what the earlier forecast projected.
The latest forecast shows the region maintaining the same number of jobs in the second quarter. The February report projected the area to add a modest 100 jobs for 0.2% growth between the first and second quarter.
The area added 400 jobs for 0.8% growth between the end of 2022 and the first few months of 2023. Previously, the Hammond area was expected to add 800 jobs for 1.7% growth over the same period.
Hammond has around 3.6% more jobs than it did at the beginning of the pandemic.
The Houma-Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area had around 81,200 total jobs in the first quarter, up about 1,700 or 2.1% from the forecast in February.
The newest report has the region adding 600 jobs in the second quarter for a total of 81,800. The previous forecast had the area adding 1,600 jobs for a 2.1% increase.
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Between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, the Houma-Thibodaux area lost around 900 jobs for a 1.1% decrease. The loss was not as steep as initially forecast, with the last report showing a drop of 1,500 jobs or 1.9%.
The report shows the region has around 6.9% fewer jobs than it did when the pandemic began.
The Lafayette metro area, which includes much of what is usually considered to be Acadiana, had 201,900 jobs in the first quarter, which was a marked dropoff from the previous projection of 203,200 jobs, though it may be due to adjustments made for previous quarters’ figures.
The area is projected to lose 100 jobs in the second quarter, according to the latest report, which is a slight improvement from the February forecast. The last report showed the region losing around 700 jobs over the same period.
Lafayette had no job growth or loss between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, which was the same as the February forecast.
The Lafayette area has around 1.6% fewer jobs than it did pre-pandemic.
The Lake Charles area had 96,100 jobs in the first quarter, which – like Lafayette – was a significant drop from the forecasted total that may be caused by past quarter adjustments.
The area is expected to have no job growth between the first and second quarters, though it was initially forecasted to add around 200 jobs.
Lake Charles added around 600 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the start of this year. The February forecast had the area gaining around 900 jobs over that period.
The Lake Charles area has around 14.8% fewer jobs than it did in February 2020, the newest report shows.
The Monroe area had around 78,000 jobs in the first quarter, beating out earlier projections by around 2,100 jobs or 2.8%, the report shows.
The area is projected to add around 200 jobs for a 0.3% increase in the second quarter. It’s a modest improvement from the February report, which showed no growth or decline.
Monroe added around 200 jobs between the end of 2022 and the start of 2023, which was better than initially expected. The earlier forecast had the area with no growth or decline over that period.
The Monroe area is just shy of its pre-COVID job total, sitting around 0.4% down from the February 2020 total.
The New Orleans metro area, the state’s largest, had around 563,700 jobs in the first quarter, which was around 1.2% shy of the February projection.
For the second quarter, the area is expected to add around 2,700 jobs for a total of 566,200. The previous forecast had the area adding 1,800 jobs for 0.3% growth.
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The area did not perform as well as initially expected between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. The area added around 2,200 jobs for 0.4%, but the forecast showed the area adding 4,900 for 0.9% growth.
New Orleans has around 4% fewer jobs than it did before the COVID pandemic.
The Shreveport-Bossier area had 176,900 jobs in the first quarter, which was around 900 jobs or 0.5% above the total projected in February.
For the second quarter, the latest report shows the area adding 100 jobs – a 0.1% increase – for a total of 177,000. The previous forecast had Shreveport-Bossier losing around 800 jobs.
The area exceeded expectations between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the start of 2023. The region was initially expected to lose 500 jobs, but it ended up adding around 500.
The Shreveport-Bossier area is around 1.9% shy of its pre-COVID job total.