While the number of jobs in Louisiana increased some 1.1% in 2018, bringing the state’s annual average job growth to 0.8%, that’s teetering near the bottom of the 50-state list, reports Governing, where growth ranged between -0.1% and 3.9%.
The good news is Louisiana’s small percentage increase in annual average employment comes after two years of statewide declines, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s Current Employment Statistics program. Average annual employment declined 1.1% in 2016 and 0.1% in 2017.
Louisiana’s minimal 2018 increase mirrors most Midwestern and Northeastern states, which didn’t fare as well as the Western states that drove job growth throughout 2018.
Nevada saw the largest job gains (3.9%) last year, while only two states—Vermont and Alaska—posted declines (-0.1% and -0.5%, respectively).
Parts of the South also continue to maintain the lowest employment-to-population ratios, or the extent to which adults of “prime age”—25 to 54 years old—are employed.
Louisiana saw a 0.6% increase in employment for those workers, with a 75.7% prime age employment-to-population ratio in 2018. It’s slightly higher than its 2017 ratio of 75.1%, and is middling compared to other states that saw changes between -1.6% and 2.2%.