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UL economist predicts job growth to increase by 3% in Acadiana

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Posted at 1:05 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 14:05:58-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s College of Business has released its quarterly Louisiana Economic Activity Forecast, which predicts that job growth is projected to exceed 3% in Acadiana over the coming year.

The report on the second quarter of 2021 by Gary Wagner Acadiana Business Economist with UL Lafayette states that despite job gains that were slower-than-expected in the first quarter, the outlook for the national economy continues to strengthen.

Over the next four quarters, professional forecasters now expect the U.S. economy to grow at a pace not seen since the early 1980s, states the report.

Wagner says that economic conditions in Louisiana are also more favorable now than at any time since the COVID-19 pandemic began as a result of this improved outlook.

The state is projected to gain almost 71,000 jobs in the next four quarters with job growth projected at more than 3% for each of the state's metro areas except for Alexandria and Houma-Thibodaux.

According to the report, the total statewide share of COVID-related job losses that have been recovered is at 45%.

The projected growth of the Louisiana GDP is 4.9% for the first quarter of 2021.

The outlook for tax collections and home prices have also strengthened.

Over the next year, quarterly tax collections are generally expected to grow at an annualized rate exceeding 10%, according to the report.

Home prices grew at an annualized rate of 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, and are expected to remain above 3% for the forecast horizon.

You can read the full report here.

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