Over the last four years, despite facing a deep national economic downturn and harmful policies of the Obama Administration that have constrained our growth, Louisiana has significantly outperformed the South and United States.
Only six states in our country have more jobs today than in January 2008. Louisiana and Texas are the only two such states in the South. In fact, Louisiana’s job growth has been second-fastest in the South since 2008, and third-fastest over the last 12 months.
Per-capita personal income in Louisiana has increased by more than $2,700 over the last four years, improving our national ranking to its highest level in more than 80 years.
According to the U.S. Census, for more than 20 consecutive years, more people moved out of Louisiana than moved in, but for the past four years in a row, more people moved into Louisiana than moved out. People are voting with their feet and moving here because Louisiana has experienced job growth while most other states have experienced job losses.
Two significant contributors to Louisiana’s relative economic performance have been our state’s dramatic business climate improvements, as well as our aggressive business retention, expansion and recruitment efforts. Since 2008, Louisiana has improved to its highest-ever position on every major national ranking of state business climates, and we have secured projects that are creating more than 51,500 new jobs and more than $12.6 billion in new capital investment.
We’ve had many economic development wins right here in the Capital Region:
SNF is investing $350 million and creating 500 new, high-paying jobs in Iberville Parish. Electronic Arts is creating 600 jobs at LSU. Albemarle relocated its Fortune 1000 headquarters here from Richmond, Va. We secured a buyer to recapitalize, modernize and reopen the paper mill in West Feliciana Parish. Coca-Cola built a modern bottling facility, relocating operations from Mississippi. Bercen Inc. relocated its headquarters and research-and-development facility from Rhode Island to Livingston Parish. Criterion Catalysts expanded, relocating operations from California to West Baton Rouge Parish. TraceSecurity relocated jobs from Dallas and San Diego. Many existing employers announced expansions or modernizations, such as BASF, GP, Honeywell, Orion Instruments, PreSonus, Starmount Life Insurance, Stupp Corporation and Shintech.
Recently released Census data on poverty showed that Louisiana significantly outperformed the South and United States over the last four years, but it also showed that we have more work left to do. While we’ve made significant progress, we’ve still got too many people looking for work or better-paying jobs.
We believe that the best anti-poverty program is a good job, which is one of the reasons why we have made economic development our top priority since Day 1, and why we will continue to do so.
Stephen Moret, secretary
Louisiana Economic Development