Economy of Louisiana

Is the economy of Louisiana growing? What’s the unemployment rate? How large is the state’s economy?

Latest update on August 30, 2023
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What is the current state of Louisiana's economy?

Government data offers valuable insights into a state's economy. Louisiana's economy ranks 26th in size among states and Washington, DC. Explore this page to learn about the state's economic growth, job market, and economy size, backed by data from reputable sources like the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How is the job market in Louisiana?

Unemployment rate

In July 2023, the unemployment rate in Louisiana was 3.4%.

The latest data shows that Louisiana has a lower unemployment rate than the US overall.

Published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the official unemployment rate is the number of active job seekers divided by the labor force. The BLS defines active job seekers as people who are not working and have submitted a job application at least once in the past four weeks. The labor force are people 16 and older who are actively seeking a job or already have a job. Anyone who has a job at the time of the survey, whether it is part-time, seasonal, or temporary, is considered employed and is not included in the unemployment rate. Although the unemployment rate is often reported nationally, it is not uniform when breaking it down by location. State unemployment rates are usually published two weeks after the national unemployment rate is announced.

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Is Louisiana's economy growing?

Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth

In the 1st quarter of 2023, the real GDP growth rate for Louisiana was 1.4% per year, compared with 2.2% the previous quarter.

The latest data shows that Louisiana economic growth is lower than the US overall.

Gross domestic production (GDP) estimates the size of an area’s economy. It is the total value of all goods and services produced in an area. It includes the total dollar amount of consumption (products like cellphones and bread), government spending (on things like infrastructure and the military), business investment (a manufacturer building a new factory), and the net effect of trade (subtracting imports from exports). The Bureau of Economic Analysis calculates the GDP.

Most economists are interested in the rate of growth. Growth in the inflation-adjusted GDP (or “real GDP”) tends to signal a positive economic outlook, while slowing growth may mean a recession is coming.

Economic growth trends may differ as each state has a different mix of workers and industries.

Economic growth by industry

In the 1st quarter of 2023, the real GDP growth rate for agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting in Louisiana was 49.7% per year, the highest in the state.

The economic impact of industries is based on a concept of “value-added” to the goods or services created based on their work. The Bureau of Economic Analysis provides the relevant economic data.

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How big is Louisiana's economy?

Real gross domestic product (GDP)

In the 1st quarter of 2023, the real GDP for Louisiana was $283.4 billion in goods and services per year.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the primary measure of an area’s economy. Real GDP adjusts the measure for inflation allowing for comparison across time. While primarily attributed at the national level, it can also be applied to states as a measure of all goods and services produced in an area. The Bureau of Economic Analysis is the government agency that calculates the GDP.

Louisiana's share of the US economy

In 1st quarter of 2023, Louisiana accounted for 1.1% of the US economy.

Louisiana ranks 26th in economy size among states and Washington, DC.

In general, the size of a state’s economy is correlated with the size of its population, though a number of other factors determine its ranking in economic output. Each state’s economy has different strengths based on its natural resources, workforce, and core industries.

A state’s US economy share is calculated using gross domestic product (GDP) from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The GDP is an estimate of the size of an area’s economy. It is calculated as the total value of all goods and services produced in an area.

Each state’s GDP is divided into the US GDP to determine the percent share that a state contributes to the national economy.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) by industry

In the 1st quarter of 2023, the real GDP for manufacturing in Louisiana was $50.4 billion per year (seasonally adjusted), the highest in the state.

Each state's economy has a different mix of industries operating within the state. The economic impact of industries is based on a concept of “value-added” to the goods or services created based on their work. The Bureau of Economic Analysis tracks the annual value added by each industry within the state.

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