Economic outlook ‘stable’ in 2010

More jobs will be available, but only slight increase expected in employment

The economy in St. Charles Parish probably won’t be seeing many changes this year, according to Corey Faucheux, director of economic development and tourism for the parish.

“I don’t expect a tremendous difference in gains or losses compared to 2009,” Faucheux said.

He said that there will be some new businesses moving into the parish and some existing ones will be expanding which will create more jobs on both the East and West banks.

In James Business Park, FedEx Freight will be moving to a new, 20-acre, cross-dock terminal that is just under construction and Inspectorate America is constructing a new inspection lab, Faucheux said. Kongsberg Maritime is also expanding its presence there.

A new multi-story Comfort Inn is expected to be completed soon in St. Rose and Bisso Towing is constructing its new headquarters in Luling.

He added that Air Products has announced plans to begin construction on a new, $200-million hydrogen production plant at Monsanto.

Faucheux also mentioned that Valero has announced its intention to build a bio-diesel facility, with construction expected to begin in 2011.

As to how these new businesses and expansions will help the parish’s unemployment rate, Faucheux said he doesn’t expect to see much difference.

“All of the indicators point to a stable unemployment rate, with no drastic changes, positively or negatively,” he said. “At best, I believe we may see a very slight increase in net employment which would cause a minor dip in the overall 2010 unemployment rate.”

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