Louisiana forecast to gain 66,700 jobs through 2016

By Bill Lodge | blodge@theadvocate.com

Work on $103 billion in industrial development and expansion is the primary factor in Louisiana’s expected job growth of 66,700 over the next two years, LSU economists reported Wednesday in Baton Rouge.

The Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas can expect the largest job gains for 2015-16.

“Louisiana is in the midst of an industrial boom unlike any other in our history, with over $100 billion in industrial projects either under construction or at the front-end engineering and design phase,” economists Loren C. Scott and James A. Richardson said in their annual two-year forecast.

“If our forecasts are near the mark, sometime in 2015 Louisiana will have more than 2 million nonfarm employees for the first time in its history,” the report said.

That growth, however, will divide Louisiana into two unequal halves, the economists wrote.

“The outlook across Louisiana’s eight (metropolitan statistical areas) is almost split along Interstate 10,” the pair noted. “Those MSAs along and below that interstate will enjoy very good growth. MSAs above I-10 are likely to experience only modest employment gains.” FULL ARTICLE