BATON ROUGE, LA-(NBC33) —
For the third straight year, Southern Business & Development magazine recognized Louisiana as State of the Year in the South, but in 2011 Louisiana stands alone as State of the Year after tying Tennessee in each of the two prior years.
Louisiana established a record-high score in the 2011 State of the Year rankings published today by the Birmingham, Ala.-based magazine. With 115.4 points per million residents, Louisiana easily outdistanced second-place Kansas (59.6) and third-place North Carolina (51.9). Tennessee fell to fourth place (49.6) among the 17 Southern states.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "Since day one we've made economic development our top priority, and this honor shows that our work to grow the economy and create jobs for Louisianians is paying off. Over the past three and a half years, we have announced economic development wins that will result in more than 42,000 new jobs and more than $9 billion in new capital investment, and we have moved up significantly in virtually every national ranking of states for economic development or business climate. This is certainly great news and we've made incredible progress, but we have a lot more work to do so that all of our sons and daughters can pursue their dreams right here at home."
Several Louisiana communities also earned SB&D honors. New Orleans tied Charlotte, N.C., for Major Market of the Year; Lake Charles won the Mid-Market of the Year honor; and St. James Parish drew a Special Recognition award from the magazine as the parish or county within a metro area that generated the most impressive job-creation results across the South. The Nucor Corp. steel mill project in St. James Parish tied the Austal USA shipbuilding expansion in Mobile, Ala., for Heavy Manufacturing Deal of the Year.
For more about the 2011 State of the Year rankings in Southern Business & Development, visit www.SB-D.com .