Louisiana is truly a contradiction in economics. Across the state, there are areas that are leading the nation in new jobs and new construction. Just a short drive away from those areas there are communities that are seeing just the opposite as far economic conditions are concerned.

The website 24/7 Wall St. recently published a list of communities across the nation that have endured the greatest job loss across the nation. It's safe to say that low prices for oil and the current state of the oil industry have had a major impact on the three communities that were affected the most.

the drop in oil prices from $100 a barrel, to getting down to as low as $30 at one point, has really just hammered these three areas.

Those areas that Dr Loren Scott was referring to in his comments were Lafayette, Houma, and the Shreveport-Bossier area. The Lafayette area topped the list having accounted for 9400 losses in the past year. Houma/Thibodaux ranked third highest with an area employment decline of 3.7%, and Shreveport-Bossier came in at No. 4 with a loss of 4200 jobs.

In the story reported by the Louisiana Radio Network, Dr. Scott suggested that the return of the jobs that were lost might not be recovered in the coming year unless there is a significant rise in oil prices.

The good news on that front is there has been movement in the international oil market by OPEC. That cartel and other oil exporting countries have said they'll reduce production by about 2% in the first half of next year. This should reduce the current glut of oil across the world.

If they do that, we're going to see oil prices start to drift up. And that's the hope right now.