Louisiana Reaches New High In Forbes Ranking Of Best States For Business

BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Louisiana Economic Development highlighted Louisiana’s significant rise in the Forbes ranking of Best States for Business, noting that Louisiana tied for second most-improved state in the U.S. since January 2008. Ranked No. 49 in 2008, Louisiana now stands at No. 29 in the U.S., improving 11 spots in the Forbes ranking from last year and 20 spots since 2008. Louisiana now ranks higher in every national state business climate ranking than it ever did prior to 2008.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “When we took office in early 2008, we prioritized economic development. We pledged to our existing employers and everyone in our state that we would repair Louisiana’s image and build Louisiana’s reputation as a new frontier for business opportunity. Fast-forward seven years, and the results speak for themselves. Through smart reforms to make Louisiana more competitive, we’ve attracted economic development projects that are creating more than $54 billion in new capital investment and more than 83,000 new jobs. We’ve positioned Louisiana for a brighter future, and we’re cultivating historic job and career opportunities like no previous generation in our state has ever seen. We’re proud of our accomplishments, but we will not rest until Louisiana is recognized as the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.”

Louisiana’s dramatic improvement in the Forbes ranking stems from several significant category gains. Over the past seven years, Louisiana’s ranking in the business costs category has climbed from No. 22 to No. 6. Louisiana’s regulatory environment has risen from No. 41 to No. 26 and the state’s economic climate has risen from No. 43 to No. 15, over the same period. Over the seven years, Louisiana’s improvement in the Forbes Best States for Business report ranks No. 2 in the U.S.

“The biggest gainer this year is Louisiana, which rises to No. 29 from No. 40,” writes Kurt Badenhausen in the 2014 Forbes report. “Louisiana has made great strides since Hurricanes Rita and Katrina hit in 2005. Income and economic growth are among the best in the U.S. over the last five years. Lower business costs and an improved economic outlook also pushed up the Bayou State.”

Louisiana’s improvement in the Forbes Best States for Business ranking follows two major milestones this year for the state in studies more tightly focused on business climate performance. In August, Business Facilities magazine ranked Louisiana’s business climate No. 1 in the U.S., while also ranking the state’s LED FastStart® program No. 1 in the U.S. for state workforce development training programs. Earlier this month, Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana’s business climate No. 2 in its 2014 Top U.S. Business Climates.

Today, Louisiana ranks in the Top 10 of five major national business climate rankings. In addition to the No. 1 ranking by Business Facilities in August and the No. 2 ranking by Site Selection, Louisiana ranks No. 6 in Area Development’s Top States for Doing Business, No. 9 in the Chief Executive ranking of Best and Worst States for Business, and No. 10 in the state business climate ranking of DCI’s 2014 Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing. Prior to 2008, Louisiana never placed among the Top 10 states in any national ranking of state business climates.

For more on The Best States for Business 2014 in Forbes, visit forbes.com/best-states-for-business.

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