Economist: Louisiana job numbers down, hitting state coffers
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's $315 million deficit from last year was mainly driven by continuing dips in private sector employment that are driving down personal income and business tax collections.
That's the grim assessment delivered Thursday to the state's income forecasting panel, the Revenue Estimating Conference.
The Legislature's chief economist, Greg Albrecht, has described the state as in a recession. He told the forecasting panel the number of private sector jobs has been falling since last year, particularly in the oil and gas industry, but also in other high-paying fields.
That has a ripple effect across income and sales tax collections, as people earn and spend less.
Albrecht warned: "There's no improvement in sight."
Gov. John Bel Edwards and lawmakers will have to close the $315 million deficit in the current budget year.