BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Business Facilities announced Louisiana's business climate ranked No. 4 in the nation – the highest-ever business climate ranking for the state and a signal of Louisiana's role as one of the top destinations for business investment and job creation in America. Additionally, for the fourth consecutive year, Business Facilities magazine has ranked LED FastStart® – Louisiana's customized workforce development program for expanding companies – as the top state workforce development program in America.
Louisiana rose from No. 5 in 2012 to No. 4 in the magazine's 2013 State Rankings Business Climate category. The state was ranked No. 7 in 2011 after it first climbed into the Top 10 at No. 8 in 2010, when Business Facilities also named Louisiana its State of the Year. For LED FastStart, the fourth consecutive No. 1 ranking by Business Facilities represents one of a growing number of accolades. In 2010, Area Development magazine recognized LED FastStart as one of three elite workforce programs in the South (along with Alabama and Georgia). In 2011, The Economist called FastStart "probably the most notable statewide workforce-development initiative [in the United States]."
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “With our business climate ranked No. 4 in the nation, we are sending a strong message to the world that Louisiana is one of the best places for businesses to invest and create jobs. More and more companies are investing or expanding in Louisiana, thanks in part to our top-ranked workforce training program and one of the best business climates in the country. These rankings speak volumes about our work to eliminate burdensome business taxes, rein in excessive spending, reform our governmental ethics laws and provide new opportunities to Louisiana students. Today's announcement is great news, but we are not stopping here. We won’t stop working until Louisiana is the best place in the world for businesses to invest and create jobs so that our children can pursue their dreams right here at home.”
Louisiana continued its streak of economic successes in the magazine’s ninth annual rankings issue. Louisiana ranks No. 2 among leading states in natural gas production, a new category; and No. 2 among states with the most Free Trade Zone activity, also a new category. Louisiana remained in the top five in the Economic Growth Potential category, ranking No. 2.
In a news release announcing Business Facilities’ annual state rankings report, Editor in Chief Jack Rogers writes, “Louisiana’s innovative workforce training effort remains the gold standard for this critical development requirement."
Since 2008, Louisiana has secured economic development projects that are creating more than 63,000 new direct and indirect jobs and more than $28 billion in new capital investment, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in new sales for Louisiana’s small businesses. Diverse new investments from leading digital media/technology companies – including IBM, CenturyLink, GE Capital, Schumacher Group, Gameloft and EA – along with world-scale investments by such companies as Sasol Ltd., Cheniere Energy, Nucor, Benteler and others have generated an unprecedented level of business investment interest in Louisiana.
The state’s No. 4 Business Facilities ranking continues a trend of rising business climate rankings since 2008. Louisiana now ranks higher in every national business-climate ranking than it ever did prior to 2008, including those published by Area Development, Beacon Hill Institute, Business Facilities, Chief Executive, CNBC, Forbes, Pollina Corporate Real Estate, and Site Selection. In three national business climate rankings – Area Development, Business Facilities and Site Selection – Louisiana now ranks among the top 10 states in the U.S.
Site Selection named LED the best-performing state economic development agency in the nation in 2011, and Pollina Corporate Real Estate ranked LED tied for the best-performing state economic development agency in the nation in 2013.
Business Facilities has been a leading source of intelligence on corporate expansion and relocation projects since 1968. For more on the 2013 Rankings Report, visit businessfacilities.com.