by: Office of Public Information Staff
The Louisiana Department of Economic Development (DED) released a report last month including economic highlights from 2008 and an economic outlook for 2009. Commenting on the report, DED Secretary Stephen Moret said, "Louisiana improved its position in numerous national rankings while Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Legislature implemented significant policy changes to position Louisiana for a brighter economic future. Thanks to these changes and our state's recent economic performance, Louisiana's position in several major national rankings will improve next year."
Despite national economic trends, Louisiana experienced record economic development last year. Louisiana outperformed both the South and the U.S. as a whole with an increase in total employment, low unemployment rates, and a healthy real estate market expected to maintain home values well into 2010. In fact, the only significant monthly decline in employment occurred in September as a result of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Also in 2008, Louisiana's soon-to-be fifth Fortune 1000 company announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to the state, while another company expanded to become Louisiana's third Fortune 500 company.
The DED cautions, however, that decreases in oil revenue in 2009 could offset gains in other sectors. The report enumerates steps the DED will take to help maintain the strength of the state's economy. The full report can be viewed in PDF format here.