BATON ROUGE, La (LED) — Business Facilities has ranked Louisiana No. 2 in the nation for Economic Growth Potential and No. 7 among U.S. states for Best Business Climate, both new highs for Louisiana in the magazine's annual Rankings Report.
In 2010, Louisiana wasn't ranked in the Top 10 for Economic Growth Potential but burst into the second spot this year, behind Virginia, on the strength of diverse new investment and job growth in industries ranging from oil, gas and steel production to an emerging digital media sector. Louisiana's business climate ranking climbed from No. 8 in 2010 to No. 7 this year.
"Louisiana continues to show the world that we are quickly becoming the best place for businesses to invest and create opportunities for people," said Gov. Bobby Jindal. "We've made incredible progress by creating tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in capital investment, but our work is not done yet. We will not rest until all of our sons and daughters can pursue their dreams right here at home."
The magazine singled out the multiphase Nucor Corp. iron- and steel-manufacturing project in St. James Parish as evidence of Louisiana's economic momentum.
"We continue to be impressed with the diversity and coordination of economic development efforts across the state of Louisiana," said Jack Rogers, editor-in-chief of Business Facilities.
Seven of the 10 states singled out for Economic Growth Potential are in the South. Following Virginia and Louisiana, South Carolina ranks third, followed by Utah and Georgia. Texas is No. 6, with Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Nebraska completing the Top 10.
For Best Business Climate, Business Facilities placed great emphasis on long-term business investments by companies that result in high-wage jobs and that are anchored by effective financial incentives offered by the states. Utah placed first in the category, followed by Texas, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina and Indiana.
At No. 7, Louisiana ranked ahead of Tennessee, Georgia, South Dakota and all the remaining states for Best Business Climate.
"Louisiana's rise to No. 2 in Economic Growth Potential and No. 7 in Best Business Climate is no accident," said Stephen Moret, secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. "Business Facilities recently named Louisiana its 2010 State of the Year, recognizing our state's major gains in economic competitiveness and Louisiana's string of major business development wins over the past three-and-a-half years that are resulting in the creation of more than 45,000 new direct and indirect jobs, along with more than $10 billion in new capital investment. We achieved these gains by focusing on the retention and expansion of our existing businesses, by enacting responsible business tax and ethics reforms, and by creating a world-class workforce solution in Louisiana FastStart™."
Business Facilities will name its state leaders for workforce and other categories as the release of its 2011 Rankings Report continues throughout the week. The full report will be issued by next week online and in its print edition.
For more on the 2011 Rankings Report, visit businessfacilities.com.