Louisiana has been struggling in a long recession, but things may be starting to turn around.
Nationwide, NFIB’s monthly Index of Small Business Optimism has been on the rise. In July, it rose another 1.6 percent to 105.2 and seven of 10 categories of the index showed improvement. In Louisiana specifically, the most recent report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed 1 percent economic growth for the state during the first quarter of 2017. The Pelican State maintained that level of job growth in June, reported The News Star. While modest, it’s a big improvement considering that, in August 2016, Louisiana had lost 40,000 of its peak high of jobs.
“Our business owners and managers feel better about the economy in general, and that’s bearing out in better economic numbers like jobs and consumer spending,” NFIB/LA State Director Dawn Starns told The News Star. Starns also noted that NFIB members’ confidence was boosted this year after nearly all tax increase measures were killed by the Legislature.
Louisiana isn’t out of the woods yet, however—Starns said that while businesses are hiring again, they’re having trouble finding qualified workers. According to NFIB’s July 2017 Small Business Optimism Index, 19 percent of companies reported that finding qualified workers was their single most important business problem.