New employment numbers are out and Louisiana's labor force grew to a record 2,179,837 in November. The number of people employed in the state jumped by 59,419 over the year. LWC
LWC Executive Director Curt Eysink says people are responding to Louisiana's strong and sustained job growth by joining our workforce in record numbers.
"What I suspect is that the national news about this growth is prompting people from around the country to come to Louisiana to get these jobs," said Eysink.
Eysink says, over the month of November, we added about 7,000 people working in Louisiana. He says this is outpacing a national trend.
"Nationally it balanced out to only 4,000 more people working from October to November," said Eysink.
Louisiana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent in November which is a .9 percent increase from last year. But Eysink says the main reason our unemployment rate has risen is because of the speed of the growth of the labor force.
He says industrial announcements keep coming and people from around the nation are paying attention.
"Given that the announcements are still coming, I think that bodes very well for the future," said Eysink.
A group called Senate Conservatives Action is sponsoring radio ads that target Republican Metairie Congressman Steve Scalise. The ads accuse Scalise of siding with President Obama instead of standing on the conservative platform.
LaPolitics-dot-com publisher Jeremy Alford says this attack stems from the Congressman's efforts to help pass a $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill.
"Really, they're lashing out at him because he supported a bill that did not defund the Affordable Care Act and did not reverse the President's executive order on immigration. But it was, really, just a bunch of bills that kept the government from shutting down."
Alford says this is interesting since Scalise was able to capture the whip position because he was a favorite of the tea party movement, where the Senate Conservatives Action finds its roots. He says there is a bit of political intrigue here as this group supported Rob Maness in his run for the US Senate.
"Looking forward, one of the rumors that's being floated is that he could end up running against Steve Scalise."
Rumors are circulating that Maness may challenge Scalise in 2016. Alford says these kind of threats cannot be taken lightly. He says the big question is whether the Senate Conservatives Action is going to continue to hammer away at Scalise.
"If this is a one and done, flash in the pan, type deal, Scalise doesn't have much to worry about. But if he's part of a larger strategy, then this is definitely something he's going to be looking over his shoulder and wondering what's coming next."
The fall shrimping season comes to a close on some state waters Monday and some are calling this an average season for fishermen. Daren Martin, owner of Martin's Fresh Shrimp in Chauvin, says this was a fair season for shrimpers.
"We've had better, we've had worse. We try and judge this fall season on longevity. In other words, if you get some quik cold fronts come early in the year, the season ends rather abruptly."
Martin says there were those early cold fronts that came through the state, but the water stayed in the marsh allowing shrimpers to continue to work. He says he's seen better seasons and worse seasons.
"It wasn't a big catch, but it stayed pretty steady for longer than some seasons have."
Martin says the price of shrimp fluctuated a bit during the fall season, but, on average, was a little better than they are used to getting. He says, now that shrimpers will have to go into the Gulf of Mexico to get shrimp, consumers should expect to see a bit of a price hike.
"Because it costs us more to get out there and it's more wear and tear on the equipment and whatnot."
The last Saturday before Christmas could be as big a shopping day as Black Friday especially if you're still looking for TVs, appliances or clothes according to experts. Andrew Kuo (quoe) is a marketing professor at LSU.
He says the downside of the so-called "Super Saturday" is that shoppers are typically at the mercy of the retailers.
"And I'm sure everyone has been in the situation where if you've waited till the last minute to get that perfect gift, there's nothing you wouldn't spend," said Kuo.
MartketWatch reports Super Saturday could edge out Black Friday as the top sales day of the year in 2014. Kuo says the Day after Thanksgiving sales weren't as high this year as they have been in years past which is another reason stores are expected to be packed tomorrow.
"This is one of the last chances for many people to get to the mall and department stores because online shipping is over," said Kuo.
Kuo says this weekend you can expect excellent apparel sales, discounted appliances to help folks get ready for guests in their home and last minute TV deals. He says with the growing popularity of online shopping, consumers have been spreading out their store shopping throughout the entire month of December.
"Retailers like Amazon continue to dominate the online space and brick and mortar stores are doing more and more business online," said Kuo.
Gas prices are about 75-cents lower than a year ago as we head into what should be a busy two weeks of traveling during this holiday period. Gregg Laskoski, with gas-buddy-dot-com, says with the statewide average at about $2.30 a gallon, it should help consumers pay for other expenses.
"More presents for the family, it might be on a little bit more food, it could be on better accommodations as they travel greater distances," Laskoski said.
Laskoski says gas prices have been on a sharp decline since October and this trend should continue into next year. He says the US Department of Energy is projecting a national average price of $2.60 a gallon for 2015.
"If they are accurate, what that suggests also is that crude oil prices will remain well below $80 a barrel for a long, long time."
Laskoski says this Christmas gift of lower gas prices is the result of a decline in global crude oil prices.
A new Southern Media and Opinion Research poll shows 58-percent of Louisianians disapprove of Governor Bobby Jindal's job performance as he heads into his final year in office. 600 likely Louisiana voters were surveyed.
Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says you probably won't see the Governor's popularity increase very much as he ends his term.
"Cuts to the budget - teachers, teachers unions, state employees - all of those groups have been affected by some of his reforms and the people who don't like him have piled up."
But Pinsonat points out that the poll shows 70-percent of Republicans give the governor a positive job rating. With both houses of the state legislature being controlled by Republicans, Pinsonat doesn't see these poll numbers changing the way Jindal will do business in his last year.
"Jindal can not do anything he wants, but he's still got support in there by the Republicans because they've got to pay attention that Jindal's popular with 70-percent of their voters."
He doesn't think these poll numbers will factor into Jindal's decision to run for President in 2016. But Pinsonat says this could be something that could potentially hurt him.
"At the present time, Jindal's doing well enough with Republicans and some whites where he can get away with it. If it gets any worse, and he starts losing Republicans and then is unpopular with whites, then it will definitely hurt him."