Editorial: Lake Charles setting the pace for other cities

Lake Charles continues to be a rising star in the state of Louisiana.

Already on the cusp of an economic boom with private companies investing billions of dollars in natural gas and petrochemical facilities along Interstate 10, the city’s labor-market growth is steadily expanding ahead of the construction.

Lake Charles gained 3,000 nonfarm jobs in May. That means the city now has 93,800 nonfarm jobs, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

“The key trend is that private sector employers are continuing to hire and create new jobs, while some major industries are ramping up for expansions,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director Curt Eysink.

Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette also did well in May, but Alexandria, Monroe and Shreveport-Bossier City reported slight job losses.

The state itself gained 19,400 jobs over the last year, the Commission found, and 4,500 over the month. That

means not seasonally

adjusted nonfarm employment grew in Louisiana in May to 1,956,800.

In fact, the state’s economic output has risen faster than the nation’s.

In May, CEO magazine reported that Louisiana’s rank had risen in its “Best & Worst States for Business” survey — we’re the

11th best state for business.

“Over the last several years, due to strategic investments in economic development and successful reform initiatives, Louisiana

has become an extremely attractive place to do business. Their new business climate has been validated by the vast number

of economic development successes,” the magazine said.

“The business climate in Louisiana is electric with opportunities and positive momentum. Help wanted and job postings are

everywhere and the trickle down projects due to low-cost natural gas alone will make the economy strong for the next three

years,” the magazine added.

U.S. employers are sending a powerful message of confidence in the state’s economy — and Southwest Louisiana in particular.

With investments come jobs — there will

be a need for thousands of construction workers with varied skills,

petrochemical

engineers and operators as well as workers in health care,

hospitality, aviation, technology, and sales and service industries.

At peak activity, Sempra’s $6 billion liquefied natural gas export facility will reportedly bring 3,000 construction jobs. Companies like Sasol and Cheniere have made similar investments and job projections.

Lake Charles is setting the pace for other cities to follow suit. We expect great things from our city in the next few years.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.