ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - With Father's Day just around the corner, most people's thoughts are with all the dads in their lives. That so happens to include the experts behind a recent study ranking the best and worst states for working dads.
Pierre LaCaze is a school teacher and the father of two daughters, Camryn and Carrigan. As you can imagine, his day is usually pretty busy.
"I have to drive like crazy to get Poland (Junior High) on time, it starts at 6:30,” explained LaCaze. “And then afterwards I coach track, I coach basketball. I'm doing that until late in the afternoon, sometimes late at night."
But there’s also one item on the list that makes his days longer than your average working dad’s.
"Carrigan has cystic fibrosis, so we have to wake up every day at 4 o'clock to do treatments,” said LaCaze. “Then she has to be hooked to a machine for an hour."
It makes for a long workday. Which is one of the reasons why Louisiana was ranked the sixth worst state for working dads.
It comes from a study done for the website WalletHub. They took all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and looked at things like child-care costs, family income, and unemployment rates.
In the category of the average length of work days (based on hours), Louisiana came in 46th.
"I believe it,” stated LaCaze. “It's very difficult for us with our economy being the way it is. And having to work much harder to do the things you want for your children."
Another category Louisiana ranked low in was male life expectancy; coming in 49th place.
"Certainly we have life-expectancy issues in Louisiana," said Dr. Jonathan Hunter, Family Practice Physician.
Dr. Hunter added that there are many factors that play into this.
"We have higher rates of hypertension, obesity, access to health care is low unfortunately in Louisiana," explained Dr. Hunter.
However, he still said that you can’t take something like this study as gospel.
"You always have to be a wise consumer about what you are reading, you can't just take it for face value,” said Dr. Hunter. “So any time you see a quality of life study like that you have to look at all the variables involved."
As for LaCaze, he agreed. And whether or not these statistics are out there, he said it's not going to stop him from being the best working dad he can be.
"It is long, and it is stressful,” expressed LaCaze. “But in the end, the payoff is worth it. Because in the long run you're doing it for someone else, and you're doing it for their livelihood. To make things better."
If you'd like to see the full study, check out the attached link.