News roundup: St. Tammany lawmaker announces bid for Louisiana treasurer’s seat … Most laid-off energy workers remain out of work … Get ready to pay more in taxes

    Starting the race: The race to fill Louisiana’s open state treasurer’s seat is underway, with a state lawmaker from St. Tammany Parish saying he’ll be a candidate on the Oct. 14 ballot. The Associated Press reports Republican Rep. John Schroder announced his campaign this morning in a statement saying he’d work to spend and invest Louisiana tax dollars wisely. Schroder, a businessman from Covington, has been in the state House for nine years and has been an outspoken critic of Louisiana’s budgeting practices. In his announcement, he called the state’s budget “structurally broken.” Other lawmakers are expected to enter the race. The seat is open because Republican John Kennedy won the U.S. Senate election, leaving the treasurer’s position he’d held for 17 years. Ron Henson, Kennedy’s top assistant, is leading the agency until a new treasurer is elected.

    On the sidelines: Nearly 90% of the workers who lost their jobs during the oil bust either remain unemployed or opted to leave the oil and gas sector entirely, according to an ongoing study being conducted by University of Houston researchers. FuelFix.com reports that roughly a quarter of laid-off energy workers who participated in the study—out of 720 respondents thus far—found work outside of the oil and gas industry, while more than 60% of them remain unemployed. Only 13% of them have found new jobs within the industry. The two-year oil bust resulted in more than 215,000 lost U.S. jobs. Even before the bust, the energy sector was still grappling with a skills gap that resulted from people avoiding the industry after the 1980s oil crash, as well as a recent wave of retirements. The study focused on energy workers who lost their jobs within the last two years. Read the full story.

    Out of pocket: For millions of Americans, a tax increase will be the first thing they see during tax time, Bloomberg reports. About 12 million workers will pay more this year because of an automatic adjustment in their payroll taxes. Unlike previous years, this rise in the Social Security “taxable minimum”—the amount of income subject to tax—is a whopper: 7.3%, the most in 34 years. That could cost each affected worker as much as $539, and much more if they’re self-employed. Read the full story.

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