Ascension Parish’s Greatest Asset

If there’s one word to describe Ascension Parish’s workforce, it’s “dynamic”.  As displayed in the following tables, Ascension Parish’s workforce has shown dramatic expansion, both in terms of the number of workers as well as across occupational and industry sectors.  From 2012 to 2022 Ascension’s Civilian Labor Force grew by roughly 11,000 people (20%).  The rate of growth was stable for the State of Louisiana and 7% in the Baton Rouge MSA during the same time period. (see Tables 1 and 2).


Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment May 2012 - 2022

AreaAscension ParishBaton Rouge MSA*Ascension Parish Region**
Civilian Labor Force

May 2012

55,053393,666394,447

May 2022

65,803407,847417,324

Variance

+10,750+27,763+22,877

% Variance

19.57.15.8
Employment

May 2012

51,784367,971368,053

May 2022

64,024407,847403,112

Variance

+12,240+39,876+35,059

% Variance

23.610.89.5
Unemployment

May 2012 TOTAL

3,26925,69526,394

May 2012 %

5.96.56.7

May 2022 TOTAL

1,77913,58214,212

May 2022 %

2.73.23.4

Variance TOTAL

-1,490-12,113-12,182

Variance %

-3.2-3.3-3.3

*The Baton Rouge MSA consists of the following nine parishes: Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

**The Ascension Parish Region incorporates Ascension Parish and all contiguous Parishes, including Assumption, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, St. James and St. John Baptist.

Civilian Labor Force: The number of people residing in the specified area who are either working or actively looking for work.  The Civilian Labor Force is the sum of employment and unemployment


Source: Louisiana Workforce Commission

*Ascension Region includes Ascension & the following contiguous parishes:
Assumption, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, St. James, & St. John

**Baton Rouge MSA: Includes the following nine parishes:
Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena,
West Baton Rouge, & West Feliciana

Source: Louisiana Workforce Commission


Another indicator of the labor supply in Ascension is the growth in the parish’s prime working age population.  As shown in Table 3, Ascension added more than  6,000 people to the prime working age population cohort 15 to 54 years of age between 2010 and 2020.   Table 3 further demonstrates that population growth in Ascension took place in every age cohort during this period.  While the median age in Ascension increased from 34.5 to 36 from 2010 to 2020, there were more than 98,000 residents in the parish <54 years of age in 2020 compared to 87,000 in the year 2010.


Ascension Parish Population by Age Cohorts
2010-2020

Age CohortTotal 2010 PopulationPercent 2010 PopulationTotal 2020 PopulationPercent 2020 PopulationVariance
2010-20
<58,0927.58,7777.0685
5-98,8478.29,8297.9982
10-148,6318.09,3847.5753
15-198,2007.68,4856.8285
20-246,3665.97,2165.8850
25-3414,67313.617,18313.82,510
35-4417,04715.817,95214.3905
45-5415,21314.116,75913.41,546
55-596,4736.08,5476.82,074
60-644,8553.06,1544.91,299
65-745,9345.59,4037.53,469
75-842,6972.53,9633.21,266
≥85863.81,4091.1546
Total Population107,801100128,369100+20,478
Median Age34.5--36.0----
Prime Working Age Group (15-54)61,49860.0%67,59552.6%+6,097

Source: US Census Bureau – American Community Survey


Table 4 shows that in 2020, only 10.4% of Ascension Parish residents had not graduated from high school or received a GED compared to 14.2% of Louisianans and 11.5% on the nation’s population at or above the age of 25.  The percentage of Ascension’s population with at least some college, Associate’s and-or Bachelor’s Degrees closely tracks the national average.  The percentage with graduate or professional degrees is slightly below the national average.  This is likely reflective of the employment mix in Ascension, which is heavily weighted toward technical occupations.  This is demonstrated in Tables 5 and 6, which show the change from 2010 to 2020 in the occupations of persons >16 years of age as well as Employment by Industry.


Ascension Parish Educational Attainment 2020 Percent Population ≥25 Years Old

    
Education LevelAscension ParishLouisianaUSA

<9th Grade

3.54.74.9

9-12, No Diploma

6.99.56.6

High School Grad/GED

29.833.426.7

Some College, No Degree

22.821.220.3

Associate's Degree

9.46.58.6

Bachelor's Degree

19.415.920.2

Graduate or Prof. Degree

8.28.912.7

% High School Graduates

89.685.988.5

% ≥ Bachelor's Degree

27.624.932.9

Source: US Census Bureau – American Community Survey


Ascension Parish Occupations 2010-2020 (Employed Persons ≥16 Years Old)

 Actual Change% Change
Occupation201020202010-20202010-2020

Management, Professional & Related

17,10722,9075,80033.9

Services

4,7805,8241,04421.8

Sales and Office

11,34312,3671,0249.0

Natural Resources, Construction, & Maintenance

5,6946,2585649.9

Production, Transportation and Material Moving

9,95012,7662,81628.3

Source: US Census Bureau – American Community Survey


Ascension Parish Employment by Industry
2010-2020 (Employed Persons ≥16 Years Old)

 Actual Change% Change
Industry201020202010-20202010-2020

Agriculture, Fishing, Hunting, Forestry & Mining

298633335112.4

Construction

5,3965,6252294.2

Manufacturing

7,4509,0961,64622.1

Wholesale Trade

1,5912,6431,05266.1

Retail Trade

6,5056,182-323-5.0

Transportation,Warehousing & Utilities

2,5003,6701,17046.8

Information

1,0911,076-15-1.4

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

3,2473,5422959.1

Professional, Scientific, Management & Administration

3,6575,1511,49440.9

Educational, Healthcare & Social Assistance

9,79813,1483,35034.2

Arts, Entertainment, Recreation, Hospitality & Food Services

2,4323,9471,51562.3

Other Services, Except Public Administration

2,3481,877-471-20.1

Public Administration

2,5613,53297137.9

Source: US Census Bureau – American Community Survey


A prime source of recruitable workers are Ascension residents who out-commute to surrounding parishes to work.  As shown in Table 7, the 2010 Census indicated that approximately 30,660 Ascension- based workers were out-commuters.  In turn, some 17,750 residents of other areas commuted to Ascension to work in 2010.  These data are likely skewed somewhat by the fact that Louisiana’s parishes are relatively small in terms of land area compared to counties in other states.  For example, Ascension Parish’s land area is only about 300 square miles. Proximity is likely the major contributor to commuting patterns in the region as opposed to the distribution of employment per se.


 

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Table 8 displays the average quarterly weekly wage paid in Ascension Parish over the last ten years of available data.  It should be noted that these are average wages paid by employers in Ascension who are covered by Louisiana’s unemployment compensation system only.


Average Fourth Quarter Weekly Wages in
Ascension Parish 2012-2021

YearAverage Weekly Wage ($)
2012883
2013921
2014978
20151,046
20161,041
20171,045
20181,068
20191,108
20201,142
20211,162

Average Annual % of Change 2012 – 2021 = 3.1%

*Data represents the average weekly wage paid in the calendar quarter by all employers in Ascension Parish who were covered under Louisiana’s unemployment compensation system.

Source: Louisiana Workforce Commission


Occupational Employment and Wages

Click here to see the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s latest annual report on occupations and prevailing hourly and annual wages in the Baton Rouge Regional Labor Market. More than 500 occupational titles are included!


Workforce Solutions

Louisiana FastStart is a single-source, world class workforce solutions provider that works with qualifying new and expanding enterprises to anticipate and address the company’s workforce needs early in the start-up or expansion process. FastStart’s services are provided at no cost to the employer. This program is available to manufacturing concerns, corporate headquarters, warehouse and distribution, research and development or other strategic facilities that commit to creating at least 15 new jobs or to any service related operation that commits to creating at least 50 new jobs. The FastStart process works as follows:

  • Project Evaluation: Examination of the new or expanding enterprise’s operations and documentation of the required knowledge and skill sets of the new workforce.
  • Workforce Solutions Plan: Development of project lead time schedules and training plans for the specific skill sets needed to staff the new or expanding operation. Consultation with company human resources and training officials regarding appropriate training delivery mechanisms, to include media, classroom and other activities required for a successful launch of operations.
  • Material Development: Develop an instructional system design plan along with both pre- and post-employment classes customized to the new or expanding company’s operations.
  • Pre-Employment Identification: Coordination of testing services, classroom and job simulation exercises to identify the best candidates for potential employment at the new or expanded operation.
  • Course Delivery: Delivery of instructional services wherever and whenever needed to provide the best employees possible for the company’s operation.
  • Evaluation and Feedback: Conduct post-delivery evaluations with the employer in order to ensure continuous improvements in the process.

Incumbent Worker Training Program

The Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) is designed to improve the skill sets of the existing workforce of Louisiana-based employers. There are two distinct IWTP programs:

Small Business Employee Training Program: (SBET) is designed to benefit business and industry by assisting in the skill development of existing employees through individual, standardized (off-the-shelf) training. Employers are reimbursed for tuition and required textbooks and manuals once the training has been completed and proper documentation has been submitted to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC). Training costs cannot exceed $3,000 per trainee per state fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Funding is provided through the Incumbent Worker Training Account.

Customized Training:  The Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) is a partnership between the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), business and industry, and training providers. The IWTP is designed to benefit business and industry by assisting in the skill development of existing employees and thereby increasing employee productivity and the growth of the company. These improvements are expected to result in the creation of new jobs, the retention of jobs that otherwise may have been eliminated, and an increase in wages for trained workers.