Louisiana outpacing the U.S. in economic development
Don Ames Reporting
2012 was a banner year for economic development and business growth in Louisiana.
That's according to Economic Development Secretary, Stephen Moret, who says the numbers show that Louisiana's economy is outperforming the South and the United States.
"You look at job growth, for example. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana added just over 40,000 jobs over the last 12 month. That's a growth rate
about 30 percent faster than the south and 50 percent faster than the U.S., overall."
He says they hope to have that type of job growth every year.
"That's actually our long term target for Louisiana," says Moret. "If we could sustain an annual growth rate of about 40,000 net new jobs per year, we would be one of the fastest growing states in the south and in the U.S."
Moret says 2012 also saw the state announce several big economic development projects. For instance, G-E Capital plans a new 300 job technology center in New Orleans, a 675-job steel tube mill and steel mill project is being built at the Port of Caddo-Bossier and Moret says there's also Sasol's plans to build a massive energy plant in Westlake.
"That's going to be a 16 to 21 billion dollar ethane complex and gas to liquids complex in southwest Louisiana that's going to create about 1,250 jobs," Moret says.
Sasol has designed its new Louisiana plant to produce 96,000 barrels of fuel a day using its 'gas to liquids' technology. It'll be America's first commercial plant to convert natural gas to diesel, jet fuel and other chemical products.
It will also be the second-largest plant of its kind in the world, after Royal Dutch Shell's Pearl plant in Qatar.