LED Secretary Stephen Moret issued the following statement on Louisiana's economic performance over the last five years, including 2012:
"Since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in early 2008, Louisiana's economy has outperformed the South and U.S. by any reasonable measure. For example, Louisiana's job performance has been better than that of nearly every other Southern state since January 2008, and employment levels in Louisiana have grown faster than the South and the U.S. since the end of the national recession.
"According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, since January 2008, the U.S. has shed 3.0 percent of its jobs and the South overall has seen employment decline by 2.2 percent. In contrast, Louisiana's employment is up 1.6 percent during that same period of time. Louisiana is one of only six states (including Washington, D.C.) that have seen employment gains since January 2008.
"More recently, Louisiana's nonfarm employment grew by 40,100 jobs from November 2011 to November 2012, a growth rate about 30 percent faster than the South and 50 percent faster than the U.S. during that 12-month period.
"Louisiana's unemployment rate has remained below that of the South and the U.S. every month since the beginning of the national recession. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in November 2012, well below the 7.3 percent Southern average and 7.7 percent national average.
"The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that Louisiana experienced its fifth consecutive year of net population in-migration, with more people moving into our state than leaving Louisiana. During the last four years, over 20,000 more people moved into Louisiana from other U.S. states than moved out of Louisiana to other U.S. states.
This is in stark contrast to the 15-year period from 1990 to 2005, when Louisiana experienced net domestic out-migration of more than 7,500 people every single year.
"A variety of national publications recognized Louisiana's continued economic development progress in 2012.
For example, Chief Executive reported that CEOs nationwide ranked Louisiana as the most improved state for business over the last four years. Site Selection ranked Louisiana No. 7 in its business climate report, while Area Development ranked Louisiana No. 6 among the Top States for Doing Business.
Business Facilities ranked Louisiana No. 5 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 third consecutive year.
"Louisiana had its best year for business development in the last five years, securing more retained jobs, more new jobs and more capital investment than in any of the previous four years. Louisiana announced dozens of company expansions or relocations in 2012, launching projects that will result in more than 24,000 new jobs and $22.3 billion in new capital investment, along with hundreds of millions in new sales for small businesses across Louisiana.
"Among the dozens of business development wins were game-changing projects such as GE Capital's new 300-job technology center in New Orleans; Ronpak's relocation of its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to Shreveport; the $2.1 billion CF Industries expansion in Donaldsonville; Benteler Steel/Tube's 675-job seamless steel tube mill and steel mill project at the Port of Caddo-Bossier; and Sasol's integrated gas-to-liquids and ethylene complex, a 1,250-job, $16-21 billion investment in Westlake that ranks as the largest manufacturing investment in state history.
"A robust U.S. jobs recovery remains elusive. Nevertheless, in 2013, Louisiana will be well-positioned to secure a healthy share of new business investment projects in the U.S. Moreover, Louisiana's economy will experience significant job growth from projects announced in 2008 through 2012.
"In the year ahead, LED will pursue targeted initiatives to enhance Louisiana's economic competitiveness; retain Louisiana's existing economic driver firms; support Louisiana's small businesses; cultivate attractive development sites; offer world-class, customized workforce solutions; and recruit new growth industries to Louisiana. LED also will continue its aggressive efforts to position Louisiana to benefit from the advent of low, stable natural gas prices more than any other state in the U.S."