Baton Rouge is the city with the most optimistic employment picture, according to a recent report from the temporary-staffing agency Manpower. Employers in the capital of Louisiana said they were twice as likely to be hiring as employers nationally.
Interestingly, the jobs are diverse. Technology companies will be competing for employees with the biofuels industry, healthcare sector, and even construction companies. State government seems to be one of the few employers without a “Help Wanted” sign in the window.
Business-friendly policies seem to foster economic growth. Bobby Jindal, governor of the state since 2008, has delivered six tax cuts, including the largest income tax cut in Louisiana's history. Jindal also has taken steps to accelerate the elimination of taxes on business investments
With 35,000 new jobs and more than $5 billion in new business investments, Jindal’s policies seem to be bearing fruit. For some perspective, the entire state economy produced $222 billion in 2008 and the nation has experienced a net loss of jobs since the governor was inaugurated.
Like other states, Louisiana faces financial pressures in the coming fiscal year. Jindal has proposed cutting government spending to meet the shortfall, consistent with his previous actions to boost the private sector.
Jindal has introduced free-market incentives in a state known for decades as a hotbed of political patronage. They seem to be working.
Few politicians seem to acknowledge that tax cuts can boost the economy.
By implementing these strategies, it is possible that Louisiana will become a thought leader in economics. As 2012 approaches and Jindal considers a higher office than governor, we can be sure others will focus on job growth in Baton Rouge.
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