Louisiana Receives Its Highest Ranking Ever In Chief Executive Magazine's Best And Worst States For Business

Survey of chief executives ranks Louisiana as the most improved state for business in the U.S. over the last four years

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Today, Chief Executive magazine announced Louisiana ranks 27th on its 2011 Best and Worst States for Business ranking, where hundreds of the nation's top business leaders ranked states on various business climate factors, such as taxes and workforce quality, as well as selected the best and worst states for business overall. This year's ranking marks a 14-spot jump for Louisiana, which moved up from 41st in 2010 (40th excluding Washington, D.C.), and is Louisiana's highest ever position in this ranking.

When Gov. Bobby Jindal took office, Louisiana was ranked 48th in the U.S. Louisiana's ranking improved to 46th in 2008, then moved to 44th in 2009 and 41st in 2010, and then jumped to 27th in the latest ranking. Louisiana's 21-spot improvement since early 2008 is the largest improvement of any state in the U.S. during that period of time. Louisiana also was the second most improved state in the U.S. in the last year.

"When I took office in early 2008, I promised to make economic development our top priority, and we've done that by implementing aggressive policy reforms to make Louisiana more attractive for new business investment, as well as by supporting the growth of Louisiana's existing business and industry," said Gov. Jindal. "I'm proud that Louisiana has been recognized by our nation's CEOs as the most improved state for business over the last four years, and we're going to work hard to keep Louisiana headed in the right direction in the future. Every day we get closer to the point where our sons and daughters will have the same kinds of job opportunities here that they historically have left to find in places like Atlanta, Dallas or Houston. We're on the right path and that means we must continue to oppose tax increases and reduce government spending so that we can retain jobs and attract thousands more for our people."

The Chief Executive ranking is based on a nationwide survey conducted earlier this year in which more than 500 CEOs across the U.S. graded states on their overall business climates, as well as a variety of specific business climate factors, including taxation and regulation, workforce quality and living environment. The article accompanying the ranking in Chief Executive magazine noted, "By proactively reshaping its posture toward business taxation and regulation, Louisiana has been quietly stealing pages from the Texas playbook."

"This terrific news from Chief Executive magazine is yet another confirmation that Louisiana is the most improved state for business in the U.S., and that our state is emerging as the next economic powerhouse of the South," said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret. "Our dramatically improved ranking is in large part the result of recent economic competitiveness improvements in Louisiana, such as business tax cuts, governmental ethics reform, the creation of LED FastStart® and our focus on business retention and expansion, as well as our recently enhanced support for small business development programs."

Over the last three years, Louisiana has moved up significantly in nearly every major national ranking of business climate, business investment, economic development or economic performance. In the last year alone, Louisiana has secured a variety of impressive national rankings and improvements in national rankings, for example:

  • Pollina Corporate Real Estate awarded Louisiana its first ever "Most Improved State" designation based on Louisiana's improved business climate ranking from 2008 to 2010. Louisiana ranked 20th on Pollina's 2010 business climate ranking, up from 27th in 2009 and 40th in 2008.
  • Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana's business climate the ninth best in the nation, which represented Louisiana's first appearance in the top 10. Louisiana also was the most improved state in Site Selection's ranking of top business climates based on its recent jump to No. 9 in 2010 from No. 25 in 2009.
  • Business Facilities named Louisiana FastStart the best state workforce training program in the U.S., and ranked Louisiana's business climate eighth best overall in the U.S.
  • Southern Business & Development magazine named Louisiana "Co-state of the Year" for the second year in a row, citing Louisiana's success in attracting more significant business development wins per capita than any other Southern state.
  • Site Selection ranked Louisiana third best in its 2011 "Governor's Cup" projects ranking, behind only Texas and Ohio. Additionally, on a per-capita basis, Louisiana's ranking jumped from ninth in 2009 to first in the U.S. for 2010.

Earlier this week, Site Selection announced that Louisiana was the top-performing state economic development agency in the nation for 2010.

Chief Executive magazine provides ideas, strategies and tactics for top executive leaders seeking to build more effective organizations. To learn more about the 2011 Best and Worst States for Business, visit