Loren Scott: State could recover all jobs lost from pandemic

(Photography by Don Kadair) Loren Scott

After originally predicting last fall that it could take up to two full years for Louisiana to recover all the jobs lost since the onset of the pandemic, economist Loren Scott now says it could be sooner.

Through December, the state had already recovered nearly 70% of jobs lost since April, Scott said Jan. 29 during a Leadership Power Webcast hosted by Business Report. Furthermore, he said the state could recover all of its lost jobs over the next year.

Statewide, industries still bleeding include mining, which has lost more jobs than it has recovered, as well as state government. Scott says state government lost 1,800 jobs in December.

By the end of 2020, Baton Rouge regained 65% of jobs lost since April, and could benefit from several large projects announced in recent months. Amazon’s new distribution center planned for the former Cortana Mall site is expected to create 1,000 new permanent jobs, while Gron Fuels’ $1.2 billion renewable fuels plant at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge is expected to create 340 new jobs. Shintech and Mitsubishi Chemicals are both planning investments in the area worth more than $1 billion.