BUSINESS

More Louisiana workers quit or got fired last quarter than since early COVID layoffs

William Taylor Potter
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Nearly 200,000 Louisiana workers quit their jobs in the third quarter of 2022, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the total number of job separations was at the highest level since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs in the third quarter was the highest number in a quarter going back to at least 2012, according to BLS data, with an estimated 66,000 leaving their jobs in September.

Around 279,000 workers across the state left their jobs either voluntarily or involuntarily during the third quarter, which was the highest mark since the second quarter of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic led to massive layoffs across the state and the nation.

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Louisiana ranked sixth among U.S. states in separation rate in September, and the state had the 12th-largest increase in separations since September 2021. 

At the same time, the number of laid-off or fired workers in Louisiana is near an all-time low. In September, a projected 20,000 workers were involuntarily removed from their jobs, adding to the total of 182,000.

Through the first three quarters of the year, Louisiana’s number of firings and layoffs is at the second-lowest level in the last decade, beaten out by only 0.6% by last year.

But despite the low number of firings, 806,000 Louisiana workers have been separated from their jobs so far in 2022, including 92,000 in September. It’s the third-highest number through the first nine months of the year, only below 2020 and 2019.

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Louisiana had the ninth-highest number of workers quitting among all states in September. The state had the 11th-largest increase over a one-year period with 2,000.

Following the higher number of people leaving their jobs, the state has seen a significant rise in its job openings and hirings. The state had 148,000 job openings in September for a total of 1.4 million so far this year – which is more than the state had in the full 12 months during nine of the last 10 years.

The state also extended its streak of having multiple jobs open per unemployed person in September, recording 16 consecutive months with more than one job per unemployed person. The state has had two openings per unemployed worker for the last five months.

Louisiana ranks 10th among U.S. states for the largest increase in job openings since September 2021 with 11,000. It also ranks 10th in the percent increase in openings over the same period, increasing 6.5%.

In September, 93,000 workers were hired in Louisiana, giving the state a total of 853,000 this year. Hirings are up 7.7% from 2021 so far this year.

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Louisiana has the 13th-largest increase in new hires since September 2021 with 1,000 and ranks 12th in percent increase over the same period with a 1.1% increase.