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Louisiana’s unfilled jobs require experience, education

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From: Shreveport Times.com

Written by
Adam Duvernay 

 

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Louisiana continues to outperform the South as the country’s economic recovery remains in doubt, but many jobs in the state requiring experience and higher education remain unfilled.

With the South’s lowest unemployment rate — 7.6 percent at the end of July — and what many economic advisors see as a newly adopted pro-business attitude, Louisiana has weathered the nationwide fiscal meltdown better than many other states, but competition for jobs remains stiff.

Competition for the available jobs in Louisiana has allowed employers to be pickier, according to Jacques Lasseigne, director of field operations for the Louisiana Workforce Commission in Shreveport. Many of those jobs aren’t what people are looking for and either pay too little or are in a foreign line of work, he said.

But some industries are hurting for labor, Lasseigne said, and trying to fill those vacancies might be an indicator of recovery. Truck drivers, industrial mechanics and almost anyone with medical training are now in demand, he said.

“Trucking reacts to the economy first. If no one is making orders, trucking is the first business to see that hit,” said Bruce Busada, president of Louisiana’s Diesel Driving Academy. “A truck touches everything.”

Busada said companies are hiring truckers because the economy has picked up some. Much of the trucking labor pool is near retirement, he said, and there are fewer people trying to get into the industry. Wages are up and demand for drivers has rarely been higher, he said.

Within the first month at the Diesel Driving Academy, Busada said students usually see two or three companies talking to them about potential jobs.

Kristen Gary, spokeswoman for Christus Shumpert Health Systems, said it is trying to fill vacancies across the board from professional disciplines to support services. Gary said experience and education are essential, but to what point they are requirements depends on the specific job.

Statewide report

Kurt Foreman, president of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, attributed Louisiana’s ability to hold against poor economic tides in part to a pro-business environment developed by local, state and business leadership as well as the elimination of noncompetitive taxes.

(Page 2 of 3)
 

Louisiana unemployment rates over the past few years have typically stayed below the national average.

The sectors most affected by unemployment are cyclical jobs affected directly by consumer spending like retail and the services industry, Foreman said.

Beefing up skills through training or education is necessary for Louisiana workers to remain or become competitive, Foreman said. Getting the young the skills they need to be successful early is critical to competitiveness, he said.

There were about 20,410 job vacancies in Louisiana during the second quarter of the year, resulting in a vacancy rate of about 1.1 percent, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s 2011 second quarter Statewide Job Vacancy Survey. For every 100 jobs, about one job was vacant. The number of job vacancies decreased by about 9,770 since the second quarter of 2010, a 32 percent decrease, according to the report.

Education and health services had the largest number of job vacancies, 6,358, the report shows. The industry group with the highest vacancy rate, one percent, was “other services,” which includes repairs, laundry services, membership associations and private households, according to the report.

The trade, transportation and utilities industries had 3,984 vacancies and a vacancy rate of one percent. The construction industry had 2,373 job vacancies and a vacancy rate of 1.8 percent, the report showed. Overall, Louisiana employers wanted employees with experience in 73 percent of the job vacancies and around 47 percent of those vacancies required more than a high school education. At least 20 percent required vocational training, certification or a two-year college degree, according to the report.

The largest percentage of vacancies, 31 percent, were paying between $7.56 and $10.55 per hour. Jobs paying $6.56 to $7.55 per hour and $10.56 to $13 per hour each accounted for 11 percent of the vacancies. Jobs paying $13.01 to $18 per hour accounted for 22 percent of vacancies and 24 percent were paying more than $18 per hour, the report stated.

(Page 3 of 3)
 

Only two percent of job vacancies offered a starting wage of $6.55 per hour or less. The number of job vacancies in Louisiana was around seven-tenths of the number of vacancies in 2010.

Northwest Louisiana report

Unemployment in Shreveport at the end of July hovered around 7.1 percent, a .1 percent decrease from June and a .7 percent decrease from July 2010, according to Becky Berry, director of the Center of Business and Economic Research at LSU-Shreveport.

She said there is a trend of slight month-over-month labor growth in Shreveport, but no particular labor sector has made a big impact on growth.

In 2010, 18,600 people walked in the door of the Louisiana Workforce Commission office on Dowdell Street seeking employment opportunities, job training or help filing for unemployment, Lasseigne said. Another 8,000 filed in during the first six months of 2011, he said, holding about steady from the previous year.

There were around 1,990 job vacancies in Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine and Webster parishes during the second quarter of 2011, according to the 2011 second quarter Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Shreveport (Northwest) Job Vacancy Survey.

The job vacancy rate was .9 percent, according to the report.

The number of job vacancies decreased by more than 2,420 since the second quarter of 2010, a 55 percent decrease, according to the report. The education and health services industry had the largest number of job vacancies, 750, while the construction industry had the highest vacancy rate at 2.3 percent.

Employers were looking for employees with experience in 78 percent of the job vacancies, the report showed. Around 53 percent of the job vacancies required more than a high school education and 31 percent required vocational training, certification or a two-year college degree.

About 30 percent of vacancies were paying between $7.56 and $10.55 per hour, according to the report. Jobs offering between $10.56 and $13 per hour accounted for 11 percent and jobs offering between $13.01 and $18 per hour accounted for 23 percent. A quarter of the job vacancies were paying more than $18.

Only one percent of job vacancies offered a starting salary of $6.55 or less per hour, according to the report.

The number of job vacancies in northwest Louisiana was less than half the number of vacancies in 2010.

 Louisiana unemployment rates over the past few years have typically stayed below the national average.

The sectors most affected by unemployment are cyclical jobs affected directly by consumer spending like retail and the services industry, Foreman said.

Beefing up skills through training or education is necessary for Louisiana workers to remain or become competitive, Foreman said. Getting the young the skills they need to be successful early is critical to competitiveness, he said.

There were about 20,410 job vacancies in Louisiana during the second quarter of the year, resulting in a vacancy rate of about 1.1 percent, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s 2011 second quarter Statewide Job Vacancy Survey. For every 100 jobs, about one job was vacant. The number of job vacancies decreased by about 9,770 since the second quarter of 2010, a 32 percent decrease, according to the report.

Education and health services had the largest number of job vacancies, 6,358, the report shows. The industry group with the highest vacancy rate, one percent, was “other services,” which includes repairs, laundry services, membership associations and private households, according to the report.

The trade, transportation and utilities industries had 3,984 vacancies and a vacancy rate of one percent. The construction industry had 2,373 job vacancies and a vacancy rate of 1.8 percent, the report showed. Overall, Louisiana employers wanted employees with experience in 73 percent of the job vacancies and around 47 percent of those vacancies required more than a high school education. At least 20 percent required vocational training, certification or a two-year college degree, according to the report.

The largest percentage of vacancies, 31 percent, were paying between $7.56 and $10.55 per hour. Jobs paying $6.56 to $7.55 per hour and $10.56 to $13 per hour each accounted for 11 percent of the vacancies. Jobs paying $13.01 to $18 per hour accounted for 22 percent of vacancies and 24 percent were paying more than $18 per hour, the report stated.

 
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Written by demon53

September 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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