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Posted: Tuesday, 30 April 2013 7:54AM

New Orleans area ranks as #2 "Boomtown"

Surging growth in business, population and housing in greater New Orleans is getting national attention.  Bloomberg recently released rankings putting the region among the best in the U.S.

Economic development officials say it's the payoff from years of work to improve the business climate in Louisiana from a time when the state was faltering and watching other areas excel.

"We sent our best and brightest, our sons and daughters, to other states," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said.  "We couldn't offer them the best career opportunities."

He insists that has now changed.
"By fostering an environment where businesses want to invest, we are creating a new Louisiana," the governor proclaimed.  "The payoff for all of us is that our sons and daughters, our children and grandchildren, will be able to find the best jobs and the most rewarding careers right there in Louisiana."

New national rankings of metro areas have New Orleans in the top 12 for growth.

Michael Hecht is the President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc.  He is celebrating the rankings.  Hecht says it's based on population and GDP growth in the region.

Bloomberg Rankings and Nikhil Hutheesing say on the Bloomberg website that the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner area is #2 on the list of Top American Boomtowns.

"The area is growing as it rebuilds from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Tourism is booming, and the New Orleans area gained more residents than any other in the U.S. from 2007 to 2011,"  The article states.  "The population rose to 1.2 million in 2012, and there's plenty of job growth in heavy construction and even the television and motion picture industry, according to New Orleans demographer Allison Plyer. The unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, is below the national average."

The Top 12 American Boomtowns according to Bloomberg are:

1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
2. Greater New Orleans, Louisiana
3. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
4. San Antonio, Texas
5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas   
6. Washington, D.C. Metro Area
7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
8. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
9. Portland-Beaverton Oregon, Vancouver Washington  
10. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, North Carolina   
11. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
12. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California 

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