LED Highlights Economic Momentum for Louisiana in 2014
The Louisiana Economic Development released a report with selected economic highlights for calendar year 2014.
LED Secretary Stephen Moret issued the following statement on Louisiana’s economic performance over the past seven years, including 2014:
“Since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in early 2008, Louisiana’s economy has outperformed the South and U.S. For example, Louisiana has added more than 82,000 private-sector jobs since January 2008, for a private-sector job growth rate of 5.2 percent – nearly triple that of the U.S. (1.8 percent). That growth rate ranks our state No. 5 in the nation and No. 2 in the South.
“With a diverse array of new project announcements and significant forward progress on previously announced projects (e.g., Benteler Steel/Tube at the Port of Caddo-Bossier, CenturyLink in Monroe, Cool Planet Energy Systems in Alexandria, Sasol in Calcasieu Parish, Bell Helicopter in Lafayette, IBM in Baton Rouge, Edison Chouest Offshore in Terrebonne Parish, and GE Capital in New Orleans), 2014 was a very encouraging year for the Louisiana economy.
“A variety of publications highlighted Louisiana’s economic development progress in 2014 with record rankings. Louisiana entered DCI’s state business climate Top 10 at No. 10, a gain of 20 spots since 2011. Chief Executive magazine reported that CEOs nationwide ranked Louisiana as the most-improved state for business over the past four years, with Louisiana improving 31 spots since 2010 to now rank No. 9. Area Development magazine ranked Louisiana No. 6 among the Top States for Doing Business, while Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana No. 2 in its business climate report. Business Facilities ranked Louisiana No. 1 for the Best Business Climate in America, as well as No. 1 in the U.S. for state workforce development programs, highlighting LED FastStart® as the nation’s top program for the fifth consecutive year.
“In every national business climate ranking, Louisiana stands higher today than it ever did prior to 2008. Prior to 2008, Louisiana had never placed in the Top 10 of any national ranking of state business climates.
“Louisiana announced dozens of company expansions or relocations in 2014, launching projects that will result in more than 25,000 new jobs and more than $16 billion in new capital investment, along with hundreds of millions in new sales for small businesses across Louisiana.
“Noteworthy examples include CSC’s 800-job integrated technology center in Bossier City; a 90-job corporate headquarters expansion of Crest Industries in Pineville; CGI’s 400-job technology center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Research Park; Yuhuang Chemical’s $1.85 billion methanol project in St. James Parish; and the Chiquita Brands container shipping project and the International Shipholding corporate headquarters relocation in New Orleans.
“In 2015, Louisiana’s economy will experience significant job growth from projects announced over the past few years that are still ramping up. The fastest growing industry sector in Louisiana will again be software development and digital interactive media. Business retention, small business development, recruitment of new growth industries, customized workforce solutions, attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI), and cultivation of attractive development sites will remain top priorities for LED in 2015, as our agency works to strengthen Louisiana’s position as America’s new frontier for business opportunity.”