Louisiana's economic recovery could drag into 2022, with Acadiana and Houma experiencing a slower recovery than the rest of the state, according to a recent study.
"The baseline projections, and even the most optimistic projections, are highly unfavorable at this time," wrote Gary Wagner, economics professor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette's B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. "Much like the national economy, Louisiana is projected to experience a recession more severe than the economic impacts of Hurricane Katrina and the Great Recession."
Wagner's report includes quarterly projections for recovery of an economy ravaged by the coronavirus and an anemic oil and gas industry. The projections include a baseline scenario, an optimistic scenario, a pessimistic scenario and an estimate if the pandemic had not happened.
The forecast looks at several factors: employment, oil prices, unemployment rate, and gross domestic product (GDP), among others.
The report for the second quarter of 2020, which is April, May and June, says the state's recovery could drag on until 2022 and the Acadiana and Houma-Thibodeaux region were hit harder than other areas.
For Louisiana, the economic recovery is expected to be uneven and to vary by geography.
Unemployment in Louisiana and Acadiana has defined hardship
Troy Wayman, president and CEO of the regional economic development group One Acadiana, said ensuring that jobs come back to the region is at the center of recovery efforts.
"The core of all of our efforts is the creation and preservation of jobs," Wayman said. "Jobs are what's going to get our economy back on track."