Louisiana announced its unemployment numbers today and we learned that the state has lost 17,000 jobs over the past 12 months. The country as a whole has added jobs in that same time period.
From The Advocate:
There were 1,963,700 nonfarm jobs in Louisiana in August, 0.9 percent less than a year earlier, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the same 12-month period, the United States added 2.5 million jobs, a 1.8 percent increase. The figures were not adjusted for seasonal changes.
In Louisiana, the bleeding continued heaviest in the mining and logging sector, which includes oil and gas. But manufacturing was close behind. Mining and logging dropped 7,700 jobs while manufacturing lost 7,600 jobs.
The education and health services sector, as usual, gained the most positions, with 9,300 jobs. Other services added 600 jobs and construction 400. The information sector remained flat. The remaining economic sectors lost jobs.
What’s changed in those 12 months? Here are just a few of the things.
*The state raised the inventory tax: The legislature ended the refundability of 25% of the inventory tax, which means manufacturers and dealers were hit with a local property tax hike. John Bel Edwards voted for it as a state legislator in 2015.
*The state raised the business utility tax: In 2015, the state raised the business utility tax by 25%. John Bel Edwards voted for it. Edwards would sign an additional 4 cent business utility tax increase in the special session this year.
*Coastal legacy lawsuits: Local DAs and trial lawyers are suing the oil industry over supposed damages inflicted decades ago. This has put a chilling effect on the oil industry. John Bel Edwards has opposed reining these lawsuits in.
All of these have contributed to the high job losses in manufacturing and mining and logging, which is oil in this state. The positions which have increased are in the healthcare sector, which is state subsidized. It’s no surprise given that the Department of Health and Hospitals budget has dramatically increased.
The government is growing at the expense of the private sector and it’s paying the price.