U.S. Chamber Study Ranks Louisiana No. 1 For Export Growth, No. 2 For Income Growth

National Chamber Foundation says positive workforce, incentive policies spurring Louisiana economy

BATON ROUGE, La. — National leadership in exports, a strong energy sector and policies that are attracting business investment helped Louisiana establish nearly a dozen Top 10 rankings in Enterprising States 2012, a new report by an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The National Chamber Foundation takes an in-depth look at the policies, priorities and programs of the 50 states and Puerto Rico, and identifies how states build economic momentum. The report singles out Louisiana for strong job growth while ranking Louisiana the No. 1 export state (with four rankings of No. 4 or better), No. 2 in tax climate for new firms, and No. 2 in per capita income growth.

Other Louisiana rankings include No. 7 for short-term job growth, No. 9 for job placement efficiency and No. 10 for best tax environment for mature firms. Louisiana continues to rebound from the economic impact of the recession, driven by its national leadership in exports, a strong energy sector and its investments in building a more solid, diversified economic base, the report states.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "We've pursued policies to make Louisiana competitive with the rest of the country and the world to encourage business investment and create opportunities for our people to pursue their dreams here at home. By eliminating burdensome taxes on businesses, restructuring our workforce development system, overhauling our ethics system, and keeping our fiscal house in order, Louisiana now has one of the best business climates in the country. While we have made great progress, our work is not yet done. With the help of our education reforms, we will continue to aggressively position Louisiana for even greater economic growth and more opportunities for our people."

The Enterprising States 2012 report credits Louisiana's success in part to continued investments in its port infrastructure; a comprehensive restructuring of its workforce development system, including the creation of LED FastStart™; extension of the Quality Jobs tax credit program; and expansion of Louisiana's Research & Development tax credit program. A great boon to Louisiana, according to the report, is the performance of the state's export shipments: From 2001 through 2011, Louisiana's exports grew at a cumulative rate of 232 percent, more than doubling the growth rate of the U.S. at 103 percent for the same period.

About the Report
The National Chamber Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, identifies emerging critical issues and fosters public debate on them, while providing business and government leaders with insight and resources. The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation and represents the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions. The Enterprising States 2012 report was prepared by Praxis Strategy Group and Joel Kotkin. Praxis is an economic research and strategy company that works with leaders in business, education and government, while Kotkin is a recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends.