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5.18.23 –  News Star

More than 200,000 Louisiana workers quit their jobs in the first quarter of 2023, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, the most on record in the state’s history.

Louisiana saw 73,000 workers voluntarily leave their jobs during March – the most the state has ever recorded for the month. In March 2022, the state had about 63,000 workers quit their jobs. The 15.9% jump between the two months was the fourth-largest percent-increase of all U.S. states.

The state has seen a dramatic uptick in workers quitting for more than a year, with Louisiana seeing a record number of workers quit in 2022. Compared to the first quarter of 2022, Louisiana has had 36,000, or 20% more, workers quit so far in 2023, recording 216,000 through March.

Several other states have seen large numbers of workers quit in that same period, but few have seen as many as Louisiana. In March 2023, Louisiana had the highest quit rate in the nation, with 3.7% of all workers quitting during the month.

While quitting has spiked, the state has seen relatively few workers lose their jobs due to firings or layoffs. In the first quarter of 2023, about 84,000 workers in Louisiana were involuntarily separated from their employers. 

The state has seen an increase in firings from 2022, but last year was near a record-low for the state. Compared to the first quarter of 2022, the state has had 29,000 or 52.7% more firings or layoffs in the first three months of 2023.

The 27,000 involuntary separations was tied for the second-highest mark since September 2020.

In terms of total separations – both voluntary and involuntary – Louisiana had 313,000 in the first quarter of 2023, the second-highest mark on record for the first quarter. Only the first quarter of 2020, which included the beginning of the COVID pandemic, had more separations.

Louisiana had 105,000 total separations in March, marking only the third time in the state’s history that it has had three consecutive months with at least 100,000 separations.

Alongside the high number of separations, the state has had a record number of job openings so far in 2023. The state had 153,000 openings in March 2023 and 477,000 in the first quarter. Compared to 2022 – when the state set a record for job openings – the state had 39,000 or 8.9% more openings in the first quarter.

Louisiana also continues to have two job openings per unemployed person, according to the BLS.

Louisiana has also seen a high number of hirings this year, but not quite at the same pace of the separations and openings. In March, the state had 99,000 new hires, giving it 304,000 in the first quarter of 2023. 

March was the first time the state has had fewer than 100,000 hires in a month since November 2022.