In many parts of Louisiana, they're not popping the Champagne corks for a record-setting performance by the United States economy: the third-longest string of recession-free months in recorded history.
The federal government has documented that metric, the Associated Press reported, back to the administration of Franklin Pierce in the 1850s. But the two very long expansions have been in modern times, in the Lyndon Johnson years of the 1960s and the Bill Clinton years lately, ending with a crash of tech stocks in 2001.
This time, the AP heard very mixed reviews about the rebound — if that word is appropriate for relatively slow growth — that has occurred since the 2009 official end of the Great Recession of our time.
The government estimated Friday that the economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate from April through June. But job gains have been slow compared to past recoveries, although the stock markets continue to set records.
In Louisiana, as so often, our economy is somewhat counter-cyclical to the rest of the country. As oil prices plummeted over the last several years, we took big job hits in the energy-production companies, even as low prices of natural gas kept industrial construction going.
That very mixed bag is why celebration is hard to come by for the U.S. expansion.
Louisiana appears to have dug its way out of recession, reaching a three-year low in its unemployment rate as the state finally shows job gains after being hammered by the downslide in the oil and gas industry.
"My story has been Louisiana in recession, but I'm changing my story. I'm saying Louisiana's in recovery or starting," Greg Albrecht, the Louisiana Legislature's chief economist, told the AP. But the upswing is also slow, as in the national economy.
The state is third-highest in unemployment, a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.5 percent for June, compared to a national rate of 4.4 percent. Albrecht warns the job growth is barely reaching positive territory.
"We need positive growth, not just less negative, and we seem to be getting that as we've gotten into 2017," he said. "Is it sustained, strong? Not yet."
Any growth is good, particularly in areas like the Lafayette area, where job losses in oilfield services and exploration were concentrated. "We're still not where we need to be, but we are headed in the right direction," said Gov. John Bel Edwards of the state.
True, but our economy remains heavily dependent on the energy industry. With giant swings, that we've experienced before, Louisiana is only somewhat in sync with national growth trends.
We ought to change that.