While the unemployment rate in Louisiana went down from 2013 to 2018, it’s still well above the national average by two alternative measures, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2018, Louisiana’s official unemployment rate—which includes all jobless people who are available to take a job and have actively sought work in the past four weeks—came out at 4.9%, or 103,900 people, higher than the national rate of 3.9%.
The report also tallied the state’s unemployment rate using the broadest measure of unemployment, which includes the officially unemployed as well as workers employed part-time for economic reasons and those marginally attached to the labor force. By that metric, Louisiana’s unemployment rate spikes to 9.4%, significantly above the U.S. rate of 7.7%.
Included in that measure are involuntary part-time workers, who make up the largest share of underutilized workers in the state. Some 66,300 Louisiana residents are employed part-time because of slack work, business conditions or an inability to find a full-time job.
Also included in that measure—and comprising the smallest group of underutilized workers—are “discouraged workers,” or people who aren’t looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. In 2018, there were 11,200 discouraged workers in Louisiana.