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Louisiana’s economy is not growing as expected, here’s how employers are coping | Business – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-09-26 01:15:00 –

Two weeks after filmmaker Sean Beaute worked on the lap, he returned to look for a new job in the New Orleans area.

Beaute, 51, has recently applied for at least 50 jobs and has decades of experience primarily in sales. He has an associate degree in business administration, but hasn’t got a good lead lately because he wants to find a job for at least $ 15 an hour.

“I’ve been selling for the rest of my life,” Beaute said. “But it’s pretty rough. The employment market around here is pretty bad, so I’ve seen other states. There’s a lot of work there and I have a really good resume, but I just didn’t reply. “”

Meanwhile, some companies are trying to inspire enough workers to keep up with demand. Burger King tried to hire 250 people in Baton Rouge in one day for the franchisee. CVS wants to hire 500 workers across Louisiana, from pharmacists to technicians to retail employees.

Gary Wagner, an Acadiana Business Economist at the Moody Business College at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, was more optimistic about last year’s recovery than it is today, given some indicators of a slowdown.

“The economy grew between the first and second quarters,” he said. “But companies are coming up with ways to produce more with fewer people, which will be a permanent change,” he said.

The biggest indicator is that Louisiana’s unemployment rate improved from 7.5% to 7.1% between the first and second quarters. During a more typical year, it means that workers are returning to the workforce.

But something else happened this year. 58,000 workers have completely dropped out of the labor market and are no longer seeking jobs. More than 20,000 of those workers leaving the employment market were in New Orleans. And that trend explained the overall improvement in unemployment.

“On the surface, people will see it and think it’s a good sign,” Wagner said. “The overall drop in unemployment was that people stopped looking for jobs. That’s not a good sign.”

By the end of the year, the unemployment rate is projected to drop to 6.6%, but it could drop to be more consistent with the normal year’s unemployment rate.

For employers looking to hire professional workers, that means more compromises.

Jack Hunt, vice president of Baton Rouge-based engineering consulting firm Hunt Guillot and Associates, said:

Because the company works with federal funding after a natural disaster, government contracts may require employees to work together in the office. But for customers in that industrial business, remote is an option. The pool of job seekers is quite deep, Hunt said.

“There seems to be a lot of potential employees,” he said. “We hired quite a few people and found the right applicants. That’s not a big deal yet.”

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The US economy is projected to grow by an average of nearly 5% over the next 12 months. Gross domestic product in the 15 states has exceeded pre-pandemic levels, but not yet in Louisiana. The state’s GDP is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4.7% in the first quarter of this year, 4.8% in the second quarter and 3.2% in the third quarter. It is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.

Louisiana is ranked 45th in national employment recovery.

The state has regained 39% of the 285,000 jobs lost in the 2020 pandemic. Due to the delay in the recovery of Louisiana, it is expected that 29,000 jobs will increase in the next 12 months instead of 71,000.

Meanwhile, by 2020, five states have already added all unemployment.

UL’s quarterly research report ran an economic forecasting model for the state’s third-quarter economic activity through optimistic, pessimistic, and likely baseline scenarios.

Even optimistic job recovery forecasts predict that the state will not recover by July 2022, but will recover as in July 2024.

The Houma-Thibodaux metro area is projected to return to employment of at least 87,100 people after 2022.

Employment in the Baton Rouge Metro Area reached 407,500 before the pandemic and is projected to reach 396,300 by mid-2022.

The Lafayette Metro Area had 205,100 jobs before the pandemic and is expected to reach 198,600 jobs by mid-2022.

The New Orleans Metro Area had 588,000 jobs before the pandemic and is expected to reach 548,900 jobs by mid-2022.

The Hammond metropolitan area had 47,000 jobs before the pandemic and was expected to reach 46,700 jobs by mid-2022.

The Lake Charles metropolitan area employs 111,000 people and is expected to employ 96,000 by mid-2022.

Spherion Staffing Baton Rouge saw a significant drop in new employment in July 2020. The market has improved since the COVID-19 vaccine was launched earlier this year. Employers offer higher wages than before the pandemic, and remote work is common.

Still, it was generally difficult to find qualified workers for open roles.

Mike Zaunbrecher, owner of Spherion, said: “Now there is a lot of work there.”

Louisiana’s economy is not growing as expected, here’s how employers are coping | Business Source link Louisiana’s economy is not growing as expected, here’s how employers are coping | Business

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