Top 5 – Facts about the Louisiana economy
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Dr. Patrick Scott
Dr. Patrick Scott is an Assistant Professor of Economics in Louisiana Tech’s College of Business; he teaches monetary economics, macro theory, research methods, and regional economic analysis. “The regional economy in Louisiana is fascinating compared to the larger U.S. economy,” he said. “Here are my top five facts about the Louisiana economy that I think everyone should know.”
- Louisiana often gets a bad rap for growth, but it is ranked 24th in terms of the percent of national GDP that it produces. We have a relatively small population, so our average household income is over $116,000 annually.
- Louisiana is relatively insulated from the national boom/bust cycle (expansions and recessions). Based on the last five national recessions, Louisiana does not experience the height of economic gains during the good times, but it does not hurt as bad during the times of crisis.
- There are nine metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in Louisiana that encompass 36 of the state’s 64 parishes. They are responsible for nearly 91% of all state output. The other 28 parishes produce the remaining 9 percent of state output (sorry Lincoln Parish, you are one of the 28).
- Small business is the economic engine of the state. Before the COVID-19 crisis hit our state, we had over 82,000 small businesses which employed nearly 60% of the workforce. We love it when large employers come to the state, but small business is where it’s at in LA.
- Louisiana’s relationship to the oil industry is both an opportunity and weakness for the state. This one industry represents about 24% of state output and supports more than 300,000 jobs. Partnership among industry leaders and policy makers is crucial not only for securing Louisiana’s economic future, but also for fixing some of the state’s problems which this industry is responsible for.