Louisiana loses 7,500 oil and gas jobs during pandemic

Employment in Louisiana’s oil and gas industry has been declining since 2014 and took another big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 7,500 more workers laid off.

The jobs have not come back yet even though world oil prices have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. And as President Joe Biden pushes to accelerate a shift to renewable energy sources, oil and gas workers in Louisiana are feeling increasingly uneasy about the future, The Daily Advertiser reports

Loren Scott, an economist who does consulting work for the industry, says Louisiana has about 27,000 jobs in oil and gas extraction, or 7,500 fewer than in January 2020. That number reflects those working in oil and gas exploration and production.

“The big hit that took place is a result of COVID just dealing another blow to the industry,” he says. 

Even with the rebound in crude oil prices over the last few months, the south Louisiana oil patch remains “one of the few sectors of the economy that did not show any improvement” in jobs, Scott says.

Gary Wagner, an economics professor at UL-Lafayette, says that an array of businesses that support the oil and gas industry also have lost jobs, and adding these in brings the total job losses to at least 24,000 since the peak in 2014. Read the full story.