Letter from Executive Director: Jan Swift
Recent economic trends in Lafayette Parish give rise to great hope for our future. Multi-million investments creating hundreds of jobs have been made in Upper Lafayette recently by Halliburton, Louisiana Platings, and Super One Foods. We also excitedly await the Couret Farms Traditional Neighborhood Development in the works on Pont Des Mouton at I-10/I-49 by Robert Daigle, architect Steven Oubre, and team. These infusions of capital effectively multiply the dollars generated by the many businesses in Upper Lafayette Parish which have operated continuously for decades by providing excellent service. Statistics show that 97% of new jobs are created by existing businesses and it is also a common sense reality that we all understand.
With all the buzz, and with Lafayette being acclaimed for its growth and opportunity in one national poll after another, how is our economy really performing? Just this question was answered at the first annual State of the Economy Luncheon hosted by ABiz at the Cajundome on May 17, 2012. Our friend and champion, Gregg Gothreaux, along with his talented team at LEDA, compiled the first-ever comprehensive economic performance index (“EDI”) for Lafayette Parish. And the results were compelling.
The local Lafayette Stock Index has grown in value by 20% since last September, 2011. This index consists of several publicly traded companies located in Lafayette, which are considered to be leading economic drivers providing jobs and opportunities which enrich our whole community. Among these companies include Upper Lafayette members Home Bancorp, IberiaBank, Midsouth Bancorp, and Stone Energy. Kudos to our members for their growing success!
Unemployment claims are down, at 4.8% in March 2012. Retail sales and hotel/tourism receipts are up. Retail sales this year are expected to meet or exceed $5.43 billion, which was previously a record high set in 2008. Gothreaux reported that Lafayette’s market has added 14,100 jobs since March, 2011.
According to Gregg, the keys to continued success are existing businesses, innovative people and a wildcatter mentality. Sounds like businesses and people in Upper Lafayette, right? Please join us as we continue to promote all that Upper Lafayette Parish has to offer. For more information, please see www.lafayette.org. Also, thanks to Flo Meadows of Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate, and Upper Lafayette member, for her insightful story published at www.coldwellbanker.com/blog.