The latest “Louisiana Economic Outlook” study, containing projections for the years 2016 and 2017, predicts that the state will add 15,400 jobs in 2016 and 19,600 in 2017. The Baton Rouge region and the Lake Charles region stand to gain the most in the recent future, with industrial projects churning out growth. Baton Rouge is expected to add 8,900 jobs in 2016 and 6,200 jobs in 2017. Lake Charles will add 7,400 jobs in 2016 and 2,000 in 2017, thanks to $39.6 billion in industrial projects currently underway and an additional $45 billion in the engineering and permitting stages. New Orleans area growth will be “meager” (2,900 jobs in 2016 and 5,100 jobs in 2017) due to energy sector layoffs and a drop in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spending. A rebound in oil prices could provide a boost to these numbers.
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