Louisiana's Houma-Thibodaux metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, has lost 16,000 jobs – one in every six – since the offshore oil bust began in mid-2014.
With crude prices half their mid-2014 high of around $115 a barrel, layoffs and work slowdowns have been the order of the day in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield.
And while the US industry has rebounded, job growth has been limited mostly to inland shale fields, where drilling is less costly than the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Louisiana's latest monthly jobs report, based on federal data, says the state gained 600 jobs directly involved in oil and gas exploration and production. Jobs in that category are up 200 from a year ago, ending a streak of 34 straight months of year-over-year losses.
Louisiana economist Loren Scott expects the area to lose another 1,800 industry-related jobs next year before gaining about 700 in 2019.