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Lafourche Parish Employment and Oil Market Analysis Published
Wednesday, December 30, 2015 4:50 PM
The Lafourche Parish Government recently commissioned a study of employment patterns in Lafourche Parish, with a focus on the impact of oil prices on local employment. The study, conducted by TMG Consulting of New Orleans, resulted in a range of projections for future job growth or losses in the Parish based upon an analysis of how past changes in various aspects of the oil market have affected historical Parish employment levels.
Specifically, Parish officials have been concerned about the potential impact of recent declines in the price of oil. There is a large amount of uncertainty about the state of the oil market even in the short- to medium term. TMG’s analysis indicates that Lafourche’s job market, whether measured by its residents’ employment or by the number of jobs located in the Parish, is significantly affected by oil market metrics. Certain price metrics, such as the U.S. retail price of gasoline, explain over half the variation in Parish-wide resident jobs. The price of crude oil explains over eighty percent of the variation in the most important sector of jobs located in the Parish (transportation and warehousing), whereas other sectors are seemingly unaffected by the oil market. Lafourche’s labor market is still heavily strained but could potentially recover in 2016 according to a seasonal pattern if the recent reduction in oil prices is reversed. Although the future of the oil market is uncertain, the regression analyses provided in the report can be applied to make employment projections as additional real-time data are obtained in 2016 and beyond.
Note, however, that the results of the study should not be interpreted as a holistic employment projection for the Parish; the oil market is but one factor that influences job growth and loss in Lafourche. Because some industry sectors do not have a statistically significant relationship to changes in the price of oil, and because the projected decrease in the price of oil in 2015 (47%) is of significantly greater magnitude than any historical price decrease that informs the regression model (largest previous drop: 38% in 2009), TMG has taken a comprehensive approach to studying employment in the Parish and will provide robust employment projections in a full Workforce Housing Economic Study to be published later in January.
For questions please contact Jeffery Leuenberger, Senior Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 985-493-6610. The Employment and Oil Market Analysis can be viewed here: