Louisiana's ranking soared from 27th in 2011 to 13th this year, the largest improvement of any state. Since 2008, Louisiana has improved 32 spots, also the largest gain by any state in the U.S.
Chief Executive asked CEOs to grade states on such areas as taxes, regulatory environment, workforce quality and living environment. In Louisiana, Chief Executive cited business-friendly improvements, which include a more competitive corporate tax structure and turnkey workforce programs, and the magazine cited recent education and pension reform efforts as positive development trend indicators.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "Since we took office in 2008, we've worked tirelessly to create a business environment where companies want to invest and create jobs for our people. We've reined in government spending, eliminated job-killing taxes on businesses, created customized workforce training programs, overhauled our governmental ethics laws - and we passed game-changing legislation to give every child in Louisiana an opportunity for a great education and better prepare them for jobs in the 21st century workforce. Without question, we've made incredible progress but we are not stopping here. We will continue to work aggressively to make Louisiana the best place in the world to raise a family and find a job."
CEOs noted both the improved policy and regulatory environment in Louisiana, along with the improved economic performance, according to Chief Executive Editor-in-Chief JP Donlon, who writes, "Although often eclipsed by Texas, its next door neighbor, Louisiana is the Cinderella of business improvement."
The Chief Executive editor summed up Louisiana's resurgence by quoting one company chairman who completed the survey: "In Louisiana, there is an active government push to reduce taxes and regulation and to encourage new industry to relocate to the state. This was valuable for one of our companies, which decided to make the state our headquarters." The magazine cited other CEOs who credited Louisiana for making big strides in workforce training and economic incentives.
Louisiana's status follows a series of ranking gains that have vaulted the state to its highest placement ever in nearly every measure of state business climates, for example:
Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana's business climate No. 7 in the U.S. in its November 2011 issue, Louisiana's highest-ever ranking.
Area Development magazine ranked Louisiana No. 6 among the Top States for Doing Business in 2011, Louisiana's highest-ever ranking.
Business Facilities magazine named LED FastStart™ the nation's best state workforce training program in both 2010 and 2011, and it described the Louisiana program as "the gold standard for workforce training solutions."
Pollina Corporate Real Estate named Louisiana the most-improved state in the nation in its 2010 ranking of business-friendly states.
The report stated, "We have noticed an increase in the number of companies that are considering a move to the state or want to have the state evaluated as a potential location."
Southern Business & Development magazine named Louisiana the 2011 State of the Year, the third consecutive year Louisiana has been honored as State/Co-State of the Year. In 2011, Louisiana earned the highest project score per capita in the magazine's history.