2004 Louisiana Job Vacancy Survey Overview

Welcome to the Louisiana Job Vacancy Survey Web page! What began as a small, regional survey has now grown into a comprehensive statewide study. The Vacancy Survey covers all eight regional labor market areas (RLMAs) in Louisiana: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport, and Monroe. The results will contribute to our understanding of workforce supply and demand levels, and will also help to identify areas where labor shortages exist. Additionally:

  • Employers and human resource professionals can use the results to make hiring decisions and set competitive wage levels.

  • Educators and counselors can use the results to identify skills that are in high demand, and help students make informed decisions about their education and training.

  • Policymakers can use the results to organize and prioritize workforce development programs. 

  • Louisiana workers can use the results to plan careers or career changes.

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2004 Job Vacancy Survey

  1. How and why was my firm selected to participate in the survey?

    If your firm was chosen to complete a survey, you may be representing hundreds of firms in your area or industry - that's why it's so important that we receive a response from you. In the Second Quarter 2004 survey, nearly 10,000 Louisiana establishments were selected to participate in the survey through a stratified random sampling design. The population of establishments was stratified by industry, region and firm size to ensure that the resulting sample was representative of the population of firms in each region/industry/firm size strata. (Thus, a very small manufacturing firm in Baton Rouge is an example of a stratum.) In the previous round the 2002 Louisiana Job Vacancy survey - we received responses from approximately 49.1 percent of the nearly 8,000 firms surveyed. (Response rates in each region were as follows: New Orleans, 52.4 percent; Baton Rouge, 43.2 percent; Lafayette, 50.3 percent; Shreveport, 48.3 percent; Balance of State, 49.2 percent.) Our goal is to continue to improve our response rate through better methods and outreach to respondents. Your response is extremely important to the study, so if there is anything we can do to make it easier for you to respond, we'd like to help. Please contact the Job Vacancy Survey Administrator at (225) 342-3141 for additional options for providing us with your vacancy information.

  2. What types of businesses were included in the survey?

    With the exception of temporary help firms, all private establishments covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax laws were eligible to be included in the Second Quarter 2004 survey. UI tax laws do not cover most non-profit firms, nor do they cover self-employed individuals - so these types of firms were not included. Additionally, all federal, state, and local government agencies were excluded from the eligible sample, so the results from this survey are representative of the private sector only.

  3. How are the selected establishments surveyed?

    Sampled firms receive a mail survey, which they are asked to fill out and mail back (other options for returning the survey are also available upon request). The survey includes a series of questions about each job vacancy employers report, such as how much education and experience the opening requires, what the starting wage is, and what types of difficulties employers have faced in trying to fill the position. Firms that do not respond to the first mailing receive two additional follow-up surveys, and may be contacted by phone as well. In a few cases, firms receive a personal visit from an LWC Business Service Representative as a reminder to complete the survey.

  4. When is my survey due?

    Responses for the Second Quarter 2004 round are due by the end of the second quarter: June 30, 2004.

  5. Are my responses confidential?

    Yes, responses are completely confidential. Your responses will be combined with others to produce statistics on hiring needs in Louisiana. No information identifying your firm or its responses will be published or released.

  6. For what purposes can the survey results be used?

    The results from vacancy surveys can fill a variety of needs: Job seekers can use the results to find out which occupations (or regions) have the highest demand for workers. Employers can use the information to gauge the existence of labor shortages and to plan solutions to hiring needs. Policy analysts and policy makers can use the information to determine where there are discrepancies between labor supply and demand, and to begin to consider how to address such issues of labor mismatch. Workforce development personnel can use the information to determine where and how training dollars would be most usefully spent.

  7. I am looking for a job. What can the results tell me about the openings in my area

    The results will not give you the names or addresses of employers seeking workers, nor will they list specific job openings. However, they can offer a great deal of general information about the patterns of labor demand in your area - including which fields have the most openings, how much these openings pay, and how much education and experience they require. This information can help you plan a successful job or career change. Of course, you should keep in mind that regional demand can fluctuate depending on the season, business births or deaths in the area, and/or broader economic or demographic trends. Therefore, the results from a different point in time might differ somewhat from results of this survey. Nonetheless, the results provide an accurate measure, or indicator, of labor demand in Louisiana - both currently and in the near future.

  8. What is "Turnover Adjusted Demand?"

    Results from previous survey rounds include a measure called "Turnover Adjusted Demand." Occupations with high levels of turnover - such as cashier, retail salesperson, and fast food worker - invariably have the most job vacancies at any given time. And while the sheer number of vacancies in an occupation is one indicator of demand, it is not a reliable measure of a labor shortage. "Turnover adjusted demand" is a better indicator of workforce shortages. This measure, devised by analysts at the Minnesota Department of Economic Security, shows which occupations have the highest demand for workers once turnover levels are factored out. The measure is computed as (job vacancy rate in the occupation / job vacancy rate in all occupations) divided by (turnover rate in the occupation / turnover rate in all occupations). Job vacancy rates are calculated as the number of vacancies in an occupation (obtained from Job Vacancy Survey results) divided by the number of people employed in the occupation (obtained from the Louisiana Occupational Employment Statistics program). National turnover rates were provided by the Minnesota Department of Economic Security and were calculated using the Current Population Survey's Job Tenure Supplement micro data. To gauge whether a shortage exists, Turnover Adjusted Demand should be used in conjunction with other indicators, including the occupational vacancy rate, the number of days it takes openings in a given occupation to be filled, and employers' own reports on the difficulties they have faced in filling positions. All these indicators are available in the 2002 Louisiana Job Vacancy Survey result, and will likely be available in the 2004 results when they are ready.

  9. How can I view the results of the 2002 Job Vacancy Survey?

    Results from the last round - the 2002 Job Vacancy Survey - are available here. 2002 results include both a comprehensive report (PDF) and highlights for Statewide (PDF), New Orleans (PDF), Baton Rouge (PDF), Lafayette (PDF) and Shreveport (PDF). You may view or download these results, or you may call the LWC Research & Statistics Division at (225) 342-3141 or toll-free at (888) 302-7662 to request hard copies of any of these brochures free of charge.

  10. Which areas of the state are represented in the survey?

    Beginning with the Second Quarter 2004 survey round, all eight major metropolitan areas of Louisiana are included in the sample (New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport, and Monroe). In the last round - the 2002 Job Vacancy Survey - the following metropolitan statistical areas were sampled: Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Shreveport, and the Balance of the State (meaning all areas outside of those four metropolitan areas were pooled together as one "area" and then sampled). Thus, vacancy information is currently available for each of those four metropolitan areas, as well as statewide. Parish and sub-parish data - either inside or outside of these areas - is not publishable.

  11. What if I have other questions about the survey?

    You may call the LWC Research & Statistics Division at (225) 342-3141 or toll-free at (888) 302-7662. Ask to speak to the Job Vacancy Survey Administrator.