Connect with us

Local News

Monroe area’s number of employed up by 4,705 since 2010



MONROE, La. – The Monroe area’s labor force has increased by some 250 people and the number of employed has grown by 4,705 since 2010, the Louisiana Workforce Commission says.

That was one of the findings in the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s workforce report in December 2020, in which the commission compared workforce changes in 2020 to those in recent years.

“In spite of COVID-19 and the different emergencies we’ve had, our workforce is actually leading the state in recovery,” said Sue Nicholson, president and chief executive officer of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce.

The period of growth in the labor force and number of employed was from January 2010 to August 2020.

“The Monroe (area) was hit hard during the Great Recession (in 2008) with monthly unemployment rates exceeding 10 percent as recently as 2013 before getting struck by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020,” stated the commission’s Louisiana Workforce At A Glance for December 2020 report.


The December 2020 estimate is 80,400 jobs. The region added 600 jobs over the month and added 1,600 jobs over the year.

Manufacturing lost 600 jobs over the year.

Trade, transportation, and utilities gained 500 jobs over the month and gained 2,400 jobs over the year, with retail trade adding 2,500 jobs from last December.

Education and health services lost 300 jobs over the year.

Leisure and hospitality lost 400 jobs over the year.

State government lost 200 jobs over the year and local government lost 300 jobs over the year.

“The areas that are hurting include hospitality, which is not surprising,” Nicholson said. “The health care industry is also hurting, but really because the smaller clinics have struggled. Where we’ve actually gained jobs is in the retail industry. Grocery stores and hardware stores have really had amazing business in the last year.”

The COVID-19 outbreak and the accompanying social distancing restrictions and lockdown’s effect on the job market last spring was obvious.

According to graphs provided by the Louisiana Workforce Commission, non-farm employment in Monroe began to dip in March 2020, dropping from some 78,000 to below 70,000 in April 2020. Employment has rebounded, however, rising to north of 80,000 as of last December.

“As a community, we’ve held our own. Once we can get back the worst of COVID-19, I think we will have a fairly speedy recovery,” Nicholson said.

Private sector employment has made a substantial gain while public sector jobs took a small dip, when compared to last year. As of December 2020, Monroe’s total private sector employment was about 68,3000 (a 2,100-gain since December 2019) while government employment was about 12,100 (a 500-loss since December 2019).


In its 2020 Louisiana Workforce Information Review, the commission noted there were 130,590 people participating in the region’s civilian labor force.

The region included Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union and West Carroll parishes.

As of the first quarter 2020, the average weekly wage for people managing companies and enterprises was $2,437. That was $13 more a week than reported for company and enterprise managers in the first quarter of 2018.

The region recognized a steep rise in the number of continued claims filed for unemployment insurance. As of September 2020, there were some 10,200 claims.

Ouachita Parish had the most continued claims for the Monroe region in the week ending in Sept. 19, 2020 with 5,924 claims. Morehouse Parish was a distant second with 1,124 claims.

Unemployment insurance claims data shows most of the claims were made by workers in the construction, office/administrative support, food preparation/serving, and transportation industries.

Utilities, manufacturing, and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing had the highest contributions to the Monroe area GDP, 0.6, 0.55, and 0.53 percentage points respectively.

The Monroe region showed employment declined during the past three years, losing only 2,612 jobs between 2017 Q1 and 2020 Q1. This was a decline of 2.4 percent.