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Report: Louisiana dead last in economic performance


(The Center Square) – A report released this week ranked Louisiana last for economic performance nationally and 31st for economic outlook.

The Virginia-based American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Louisiana 50th in the 17th edition of the Rich States, Poor States report for its economic performance.

The report, authored by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams, uses 15 variables to measure a state’s economic performance and outlook. The authors say states that pay down their debt, cut taxes and enact free-market, pro-growth policies tend to perform better economically and lure new residents.

The authors found gross domestic product grew 19.56% between 2012 and 2022, putting the state’s economy in 49th place.

The state’s labor market between 2013 and 2022 shrank by 0.07%, ranking 45th. During that same span, the state lost 207,645 residents, eight spots from the bottom.

The state’s economic outlook (31st) was down five spots from last year’s report and nine from 2022.

Although a right to work state and lacking a minimum wage, the report cited a lack of action by lawmakers on tax reform, the state’s overly litigious legal climate (next to last nationally), the state’s worker compensation costs ($2.13 per $100 of payroll for 46th) and high sales tax burden ($37.52 per $1,000 of personal income for 46th).

“While the federal government continues their never-ending descent into a record-setting $35 trillion debt, the only last point of refuge for fiscal sanity rests in our 50 laboratories of democracy – the states,” said ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams in a release. “Americans are voting with their feet and fleeing the high tax, high regulation states like California, New York and Illinois for pro-growth, pro-employment havens like Utah, Idaho and Arizona, where leaders rely on a set of free market principles and pro-taxpayer reforms that landed those states at the top of our rankings.”

Among the state neighbors, Texas received high marks in sixth place for both its economic performance and outlook.

Arkansas was ranked 15th for both economic outlook and performance. Mississippi received grades of 18th best for economic outlook and 40th for economic performance.