Louisiana is one of eight states that saw a population drop from last year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between July 2016 and July 2017, the state’s population decreased by just over 1,800. About 27,000 relocated to other states. Demographer Greg Rigamer says a lot of the decrease has to do with the current job market.
"It's about rural Louisiana. People are really hurting. They don't have jobs. Those who have jobs are not being paid what their counterparts are in other states."
Rigamer says the state’s budget crisis has not helped encourage job growth in Louisiana. And with a projected one-billion-dollar shortfall, there doesn’t seem to be a quick fix coming.
"You know, we're just in an economic morass at this point."
Rigamer says the hospitality industry is huge in the Bayou State. But if Louisiana wants to see the population increase again, wages need to go up for those working hard to welcome travelers.
"It is very low, compared to other forms of professional or manufacturing other administrative or managerial jobs."