A recently released report by WalletHub listed Shreveport as the most difficult out of 182 cities to get a job.
Needless to say, this report has caused consternation by many in the Shreveport community.
The report listed Baton Rouge as 151 and New Orleans 179. Dallas came in 49 in the job parade.
Four of the five best cities for a job are located in Arizona.
As with any report, the methodology is the key.
WalletHub evaluated both “job market” and “socio-economics” for the study, using 26 metrics for each dimension. Some of these like job opportunities, monthly average salary and job growth are pertinent.
However other metrics like friendliness of dating, families and recreation seem to be far fetched.
WalletHub focused only on Shreveport.
Thus Bossier City, Minden, Stonewall, Haughton, Blanchard and other neighboring communities including Mansfield were not included in the Shreveport evaluation. It is common knowledge that many Shreveport workers live outside Shreveport city limits.
Another major fallacy in Shreveport’s rating is that 2015 employment numbers were utilized.
A recently released Louisiana Workforce Commission report noted a November 2017 4.6 percent unemployment rate in Shreveport. This was down from 4.7 percent in October 2017 and from 5.9 percent in November 2016.
One local employment agency reports 130 Shreveport job opportunities. And this company is only one of over 20 agencies.
Unfortunately the WalletHub report has been widely circulated in the local media.
Scott Martinez, president of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, says, “WalletHub loves to put these lists out to generate web clicks. Reports like this are problematic when our region still sees population outmigration.”
As Martinez notes, this report will probably live in perpetuity on the web.
Hopefully those that believe that everything on the web is “gospel” will not swallow this report hook, line and sinker. But no doubt, the WalletHub listing is a reality that local business and political leaders must now concern themselves with.
John Settle is an attorney based in Shreveport-Bossier