The total number of jobs in Louisiana dropped by 11% in the first half of this year due to COVID-19, a mark that is nearly double the jobs lost due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The state lost 218,000 payroll jobs in the first and second quarter, and the state’s economy contracted at an annualized rate of 6.6% in the first quarter as the national economy officially entered a recession, according to data compiled by Gary Wagner, Acadiana Business Economist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, in his Louisiana Economic Activity Forecast.
The economy will pick back up for the remainder of the year, but a national full recovery is not projected until likely 2022. In Louisiana, he noted, that recovery will be slower.
“Louisiana’s (GDP) contraction of 6.6% was one of the sharpest drops in the nation,” he wrote in the quarterly Louisiana Economic Activity Forecast. “Only Michigan, New York, Nevada and Hawaii experienced larger downturns in economic activity.”
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