Area Development Names Louisiana a Top 10 Business State For Eighth Consecutive Year

BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Area Development ranked Louisiana No. 7 in the magazine’s annual Top States for Doing Business report, with the state earning a Top 10 position for the eighth consecutive year. Area Development surveys the nation’s top site selection consultants to produce the annual report. Louisiana, which ranked No. 5 in 2016 and 2017, also placed No. 3 in the nation for Leading Workforce Development programs, and No. 6 in three other categories: Favorable General Regulatory Environment; Business Incentive Programs; and Cooperative and Responsive State Government.

“The consistent strength of Louisiana’s business climate leads to a sense of confidence that business leaders, from corporate executives to small business owners, place in our state,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The Area Development ranking of Louisiana as a Top State for Doing Business affirms what many companies and site selectors already know – Louisiana continues to be a friendly, welcoming state for business investment and job creation. We owe that reputation in no small part to our well-trained workforce, our strong transportation infrastructure, and the shared goals of our state, regional and local officials.”

In addition to the overall business climate ranking and the category rankings for workforce, regulatory environment, incentives and responsive state government, Louisiana posted several other Top 10 rankings in the report. Those include: No. 7 for Most Improved Economic Development Policies; No. 9 for Overall Cost of Doing Business; No. 10 for Access to Capital and Project Funding; and No. 10 for Shovel-Ready Sites Program.

“Louisiana is headed in the right direction, and our eighth consecutive Top 10 ranking by Area Development speaks to our business climate strength and our momentum,” said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson. “Since early 2016, we’ve attracted 95 economic development projects that are resulting in 25,000 new direct and indirect jobs, the retention of another 16,000 existing jobs, and more than $26 billion in new capital investment for our state. With historically high employment and small business vitality, we are seeing the strength of our economy at work.”

Area Development lauded Louisiana’s workforce development successes, which include LED FastStart®, the state’s best-in-class, customized workforce training program.

Workforce development “is a critical part of the labor environment,” the report said. “In the best of circumstances, a state’s workforce development programs have created a pool of properly skilled labor that’s ready to be hired as the need arises. There are often gaps, though, but a solid workforce development program can fill in the gaps in a way that is tailored to an employer’s needs.”

Louisiana is highly regarded in this important effort for many reasons, Area Development noted.

“Beyond standard workforce programs, the state benefits from such ideas as a state-funded initiative to triple the undergraduate degrees awarded by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Computing & Informatics,” the report said. “That kind of support helped information technology and consulting firm CGI decide to expand its IT center of excellence.”

Louisiana ranks among the leading states for best business climate in multiple national rankings. In addition to its Top 10 placement in the Area Development report, Louisiana ranked No. 2 in July 2018 for Southern states with the best economic development results, as judged by Southern Business & Development magazine.

Also in July, Business Facilities ranked LED FastStart as the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program for a record ninth year in a row. In the magazine’s State Rankings Report, Louisiana also earned Top 10 rankings among the best states for Economic Growth Potential, Foreign Trade Zone Activity (exports) and Chemicals Manufacturing.

In its September 2018 issue, Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana No. 2 among U.S. states for infrastructure investment that supports economic growth, including roads, bridges, airports, pipelines, railroads and more.

About Area Development
Founded in 1965, Area Development magazine is considered a leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. Editorial coverage provides valuable information pertinent to the factors, key issues and criteria that affect a successful decision. Area Development is published quarterly and has 60,000 mailed copies. It also has a very active custom publishing group that has produced many award-winning magazines, inserts and brochures on behalf of its clients. Area Development maintains several highly visited websites:, and For more on the Top States for Doing Business rankings, visit

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