I suppose we can now add employment to that list of things where "close counts". The old saying is that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades can now be adapted to include where to find work at least here in South Louisiana.

It's no secret that the decline in oil prices has been quite  troublesome for the Lafayette economy. Just how troubling? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Lafayette leads the nation in jobs lost between October 2014 and October 2015. During that time frame there were 4,300 jobs lost in the area. Mainly due to declines in the oil and gas industry.

While the low oil prices are a catalyst for changes in the job market, the oil and gas industry is not the only economic sector affected. The decrease in income in the market place means other industries are feeling the pinch as well.

That means for every job lost directly in oil and gas about four jobs are lost elsewhere in the economy, like in retail trade, in health care, in the services sector.

That's what Dr. Loren Scott had to say to the Louisiana Radio Network. Dr. Scott, an economist at LSU, went on to say that while Lafayette might be on the decline. You don't have to travel too far to find a  place that is absolutely booming.

The Lake Charles area has added almost 4,600 jobs in the past year. Most of those jobs involve construction of two LNG export facilities. 

Those two alone are $30 billion.  These are very expensive facilities to build and there are five others that are waiting for the permitting processing to go through to build them too.

So the difference between booming and not booming is as little as 60 miles.


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