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Louisiana Manufacturing Jobs Decline For A Third Straight Year

Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, August 3rd, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Industrial employment in Louisiana declined for a third straight year, though losses were not as severe as those reported in previous surveys, according to data collected by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI), publisher of industrial databases for all fifty states. MNI reports Louisiana shed 1.2% of its industrial workforce or 2,374 jobs between May 2016 and May 2017, about half of what the state lost over the 2015-2016 survey period.

Louisiana is now home to 4,884 manufacturers employing 187,978. The state added thousands of industrial jobs in the years directly following the recession, based largely on a booming oil/gas sector. That sector has mostly dried up due to plunging oil prices. Over the past three years, Louisiana has lost a total of 8,580 industrial jobs or 4.4%. Jobs in the oil/gas sector plummeted 11% over this three-year span.

Louisiana faces multiple challenges as it tries to pave the way to growth in its manufacturing sector, including a budget crisis that has limited capital funding, weakened infrastructure spending and education investment, affecting a spectrum of industries,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, the state’s stronghold in chemical processing and business-friendly environment have encouraged some major new investments, and losses in the oil/gas industry have finally slowed.”

Losses in the oil/gas extraction sector decelerated in the past year, reports MNI, with jobs in the industry down a marginal 1.6%. Instead, employment declines were spread out across multiple sectors, with fabricated metals leading losses, down 8%. Jobs in furniture/fixtures were down 6.7%, as well as rubber/plastics, down 6.2%; printing/publishing, also down 6.2%; textiles, down 5.6%; food processing, down 3.5%; and primary metals, down 1%.

Layoffs at Gramercy’s Noranda alumina plant and Noble Drilling contributed to the state’s industrial employment decline as well as plant closings announced by Brown’s Dairy in New Orleans; G.E.’s Pineville plant; and National Oilwell Varco.

These losses were marginally offset by gains in paper products, up 2.3% and electronics, up 1.6%. In addition, jobs in chemical processing rose by 2% over the past year. Chemical processing remains Louisiana’s top sector by number of industrial jobs, with 26,938 workers.

Recent data suggests Louisiana’s chemical processing sector should continue to thrive as China-based Wanhua Chemical makes progress on its $1.12 billion methylene manufacturing facility in the state.

Other projects slated to break ground in Louisiana include Elio Motors’ plans to establish a three-wheel vehicle plant in Shreveport.

MNI reports industrial employment losses in Louisiana were spread out across the state, and were most severe in Northeast Louisiana, which fell by 3.2% to 10,861 jobs. Northwest Louisiana shed 2.8% of its manufacturing workforce to 24,788 jobs, while employment inched down 1.2% in Louisiana’s Southwest quadrant to 56,790 jobs. The Southeast region’s industrial workforce was virtually unchanged over the year, and currently numbers 95,538.

City data collected by MNI shows Baton Rouge remains the state’s top city by industrial employment, with 15,504 jobs, up 1.1% over the past year. Employment in second-ranked Houma declined 2.1% to 10,250, while jobs were down 5.3% in third-ranked Lafayette to 9,540. New Orleans is home to 9,179 workers, up a half percent, and Shreveport is home to 7,084, down 1.9%.

Established in 1912, MNI is the nation’s oldest and largest compiler of industrial information, offering tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers. MNI’s industrial marketplace IndustryNet: is a one-stop resource that connects buyers with suppliers of 10,000 + products and services, and allows users to obtain competitive quotes, create and view company profiles, post company news releases, photos, videos, job openings, and more. MNI’s subscription service EZ Select: provides access to MNI’s live interactive database of manufacturers. For more information, contact MNI at 847-864-7000 or visit
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