Houma-Thibodaux had nation's second-worst economy last year, new report says

HOUMA, La. -- Thibodaux had the nation's second-worst economy in 2015, shrinking 7.8 percent as the oil bust took a toll on jobs throughout the local economy, new figures show according to a report from the Houma Courier.

Aside from the oilfield, some of the biggest productivity losses were seen in white-collar work, transportation, utilities and construction, according to a report released Tuesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The report measures gross domestic product, or the total value of goods and services produced in a community. Nationally, metro areas grew 2.5 percent, on average, in 2015.

Louisiana's eight metro areas include two of the nation's fastest-growing economies, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, and two of its fastest-shrinking, Houma-Thibodaux and Lafayette, another community heavily dependent on the struggling oilfield.

A RUNDOWN OF LOUISIANA METRO AREAS

  • Lake Charles' economy grew 8.3 percent, third-fastest in the nation. That growth was boosted by an increase in nondurable goods manufacturing, tied to oil and chemical refining.
  • Baton Rouge grew 5.4 percent, 17th-fastest nationwide, also boosted by nondurable goods, but even more by finance, insurance, real estate and leasing.
  • Lafayette, also tied to the flagging oil industry, was the nation's fifth-worst, shrinking 3.8 percent.
  • Monroe expanded by 2.8 percent, buoyed by an expansion in the computer-driven information sector.
  • New Orleans grew by 2.6 percent, boosted by nondurable manufacturing.
  • Shreveport-Bossier City was nearly flat, growing 0.2 percent.
  • Alexandria saw its economy shrink 1.6, also one of the 50 worst performances nationwide.

Only Bloomington, Ill., whose economy shrunk 8 percent, ranked worse than Houma-Thibodaux.

For the full report, visit The Houma Courier's website.

(© 2016 WWL)


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