Like much of the country, Louisianans have been feeling significant economic pressure with high inflation putting a strain on family budgets. Those looking to find a job to cover these extra costs have had success with job openings continuing to outpace growth in the labor force. But as the unemployment rate returns to pre-pandemic levels, people may begin to find a slowing economy.

The latest national job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that despite adding jobs, the unemployment rate remains constant. Nonfarm employment increased by 372,000 in June but the unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent. This now marks the fourth month that unemployment has been stuck at 3.6 percent.

As unemployment sits near its pre-pandemic levels, it’s worth taking stock of what industries gained and lost jobs during the pandemic. The largest gain was in professional and business services which added 880,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the leisure and hospitality sector has lost 1.3 million jobs and shows little signs of making a quick recovery as the sector added only 67,000 jobs this month.

As the Louisiana economy lags behind the overall stagnant American economy, more problems may be on the way.

The federal reserve has been raising interest rates and will likely continue to do so for the near future in an attempt to get a handle on inflation. This means it will be more expensive for entrepreneurs to borrow money to start businesses and hire new employees. Louisiana cannot afford to lose more jobs.

Louisiana needs to continue to reduce the burden of regulations and tax policies that hold back its people from flourishing.

With the high cost of daily goods, the people of Louisiana cannot afford to be out of work.