In local news:

New data released yesterday reveal a potential slowing of oil and gas job losses in Louisiana, but the state lost 9,900 jobs in the sector over the year, as oil prices slumped sharply and companies cut back on operations. Mining and logging sector employment (which includes oil and gas) remains at the lowest level since the Bureau of Labor Statistics tracking system began in 1990. However, education and health services added 10,100 jobs over the year with 311,600 jobs in these fields. The sector has shown over-the-year gains every month since October 2006. The state’s unemployment rate for December, 6.1 percent, was down from 7.2 percent in December 2014. The total civilian labor force for the month was estimated at 2,133,630, down about 9,100 from November and more than 66,000 over the year. Among the state’s metropolitan statistical areas, New Orleans gained 2,000 jobs during December while Baton Rouge continued its string of monthly gains, adding 200 jobs.

Read the full release from LWC here.

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