As Louisiana and the nation continues to reopen, some good economic news is starting to trickle in.
The best and most surprising news was the April Jobs report, which showed the nation gained 2.5 million jobs during the month. With some economists predicting losses of up to 7.5 million, a jobs gain was a big win for the American people.
It’s not just the number of jobs that were gained, but also the kinds of jobs, which bode well for the future of Louisiana. As we discussed in an earlier blog post, more than 40 percent of the job losses in Louisiana were in the hospitality and leisure sector. In April, hospitality and leisure accounted for almost half the total job gains, with 1.2 million.
Looking at more local Louisiana data, the ability for the leisure and hospitality sector to bounce back quickly will be key to the overall recovery. New Orleans accounts for one-third of all job losses in Louisiana and has the highest unemployment rate of any metro region of the state. Undoubtedly, the city’s major reliance on tourism is driving this high unemployment. Continued gains in this sector will mean a faster recovery for Louisiana.
The number of unemployment claims ending June 6 increased slightly from the previous week, rising to just over 22,000. However, the number of Louisianans on unemployment dipped to under 300,000 for the first time since April 18. This marks the fourth consecutive week of decreases in the total number of Louisianans on unemployment, which suggests that more of our state’s citizens are going back to work than losing their jobs.
While the signs are pointing in a positive direction, there is still much more to be done. Louisiana needs to continue to reopen safely and smartly, balancing public health with letting people return to their normal lives. Additionally, there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure Louisiana encourages the return of jobs and opportunity. From reforming the state’s broken legal code to lifting government barriers to quality jobs, we must make the changes necessary to get to Get Louisiana Working. Hundreds of thousands of Louisianans are counting on it.