Nearly 400,000 Louisiana workers quit jobs so far in 2022, but unemployment rate falls

William Taylor Potter
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

An estimated 69,000 Louisiana workers quit their jobs in June, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the state continues to see large numbers leave their jobs voluntarily.

The numbers for June are preliminary and could be adjusted in the coming months, but if it holds, it would be the second-biggest month for quitting that the state has seen in the last decade, behind only July 2019, when an estimated 71,000 workers quit across the state.

Louisiana has seen a rash of workers leaving their jobs dating back to the June 2021. Since May 2021, the state has had more than 60,000 workers quit in 13 of the 14 months.

At the same time, Louisiana's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level ever, and more Louisiana residents had jobs than ever before in June.

Louisiana jobs:Thousands more Louisiana workers quit their jobs in May, but firings remain at record low

Through the first half of 2022, around 373,000 Louisiana workers have quit their jobs, according to BLS data. Around 48,000 more workers have quit so far this year than in the first half of 2021, which ended up seeing a record-breaking 703,000 workers quit their jobs.

In June 2021, around 68,000 workers quit their jobs in Louisiana. In May 2022, around 63,000 workers quit. Louisiana had the 11th-largest percent increase in the U.S. from May to June with 9.5%.

Generally speaking, Louisiana's high number of workers quitting has been balanced by high numbers being hired and a record-low number being fired or laid off. Overall, Louisiana has had 526,000 total separations in 2022, which includes both voluntary and involuntary separations.

Despite the dramatic increase in workers quitting, the total number of separations is up by about 40,000 or 8.2% from the first six months of 2021. It's possible that the state could break the record for separations set in 2020, but it is about 20% below the six-month mark for that year.

The number of layoffs and firings remains at the lowest level the state has seen in the last decade, though it did see a significant increase in May. The preliminary data showed that the state had around 19,000 firings or layoffs in May, but the most recent data shows 27,000 for the month, which is the highest since September 2020.

JOBS AVAILABLE:Louisiana has more employed workers than ever before, but many jobs still available

Still, the number of workers that have been involuntarily removed from the job is at a 10-year low through the first half of the year. Around 120,000 have been fired or laid off this year, which is about 8,000 or 6.3% below last year at the six-month mark. 

From January through June, Louisiana had around 913,000 job openings, including 156,000 that were added in June. Dating back to the end of 2020, Louisiana has an 18-month streak of 100,000 openings or more.

The number of job openings is up by 259,000 or 39.6% from 2021. Of the 10 years before 2022, the six-month total for 2022 is higher than the full-year total for four of them.

Hirings are also higher than normal. Around 97,000 more workers were hired in June, giving the state 576,000 total this year — the highest mark of the last decade. Hirings are up 65,000 or 12.7% from the first six months of 2021.