DC think tank: Louisiana economy is a stinker

Staff Report
January 24, 2007 at 12:57 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A Washington study group has trashed Louisiana’s business climate for the second time in as many years, saying the state’s economy continues to lag behind other states in three key areas.

In fact, the Council for Economic Development gave Louisiana exactly the same economic grades it issued in 2006 - F for economic performance, C for business vitality and F for the possibility of future economic growth.

According to the 50-state comparative study, the top performers were Connecticut and Delaware, which received A's in all three categories.

They were followed by Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah and Wisconsin, which received A's and B's.

The group said “the positives” for Louisiana were low rates of business closures, and strong manufacturing investment. Job creation by new businesses is also good here.

Another good sign: Louisiana has the second-highest rate of home ownership growth, the report said.

But the study group put Louisiana last in income distribution, last in short-term employment growth, 38th in average annual pay and 46th in employer-provided health care.

The report noted that Hurricane Katrina "has made the state's economic mission even more difficult. However, Louisiana's business environment offers a homegrown engine that can help the state recover. This engine - fed by relief money, a strong oil market and a tremendous consumer need to rebuild - is reflected in the state's moderate business vitality ratings."

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