The State’s Workforce Numbers Look Like Evidence Of A Texodus To Us…

…though your interpretation might be different than to see a Texodus.

What’s a Texodus? It’s an exodus to Texas from Louisiana, just like we’ve seen virtually every time this state begins trying to raise taxes and make itself less economically competitive with that state next door. We already know Louisiana suffered the loss of some 27,000 people who migrated out of the state last year, the plurality of those headed for greener pastures in the Lone Star State.

So, Texodus. And here’s what that looks like.

Unemployment fell for the eighth straight month in Louisiana, even as payrolls again shrank in December.

The jobless rate fell to 4.6 percent in December from 4.7 percent in November, as more people entered the labor force and more found jobs. Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 6 percent a year ago.

About 97,000 Louisianans were jobless, down about 1,000 from November.

December’s U.S. unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, the same as in November but below December 2017’s 4.7 percent.

The separate survey of how many people are on employer payrolls, many economists’ top labor market indicator, continued a multi-month downward trend, falling to 1.97 million in December in Louisiana. That remains 5,000 higher than December 2016.

The U.S. Labor Department released figures Tuesday, adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes.

As Joe Cunningham wrote here this morning, even the Baton Rouge Advocate isn’t buying the governor’s happy talk about how the state’s unemployment rate is dropping. When that rate is dropping because the size of the workforce is dropping rather than the size of the employed population increasing, it isn’t a sign of prosperity.

It’s a sign of Texodus.

Now, you could argue that with an aging population some of what’s going on is that older workers are retiring and leaving the workforce. That probably does account for some of those numbers.

Our guess is that what’s really happening is outmigration. Our guess is that the next Census numbers which come out will show that it’s accelerating.

Because as we said a few weeks ago, it’s one thing when your state’s economy grows at half a percent when the national economy grows at 1.5 percent. you’re doing poorly, but not so poorly that your people think you’re left behind. But when the national economy grows at 4 percent and you’re at half a percent, or one percent, your people notice the abundance of opportunities in Houston and Dallas, or Nashville, Atlanta, Tampa or Oklahoma City or wherever.

Mostly in Houston and Dallas, though.

So, Texodus.

And when the governor of Louisiana says, as he did on Monday, that a billion dollars in tax increases would be helpful to Louisiana’s economy, Texodus is what you will have…and lots of it.

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