RUSTON — The Center for Economic Research, housed in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business, recently published the 2021 Louisiana Economic Abstract. The publication is the first in an ongoing annual series designed to report state-level economic developments and the impact of policies in Louisiana.
The report was written by Dr. Patrick Scott, the Center’s director and an assistant professor of economics at Tech. This issue of the Louisiana Economic Abstract can be downloaded at business.latech.edu/cer.
“The Center for Economic Research has been publishing the Regional Economic Analysis of Louisiana (REAL) Report for three years,” said Scott. “As I talked with business leaders, policy makers, and journalists about the report, it became clear that a more comprehensive picture of the state economy could and should be painted.”
While there are other reports that discuss the state of Louisiana’s economic situation, this abstract explains the importance of economic indicators using underlying economic intuition. The Louisiana Economic Abstract sits squarely at the intersection of economic rationale and data science, providing another dimension of economic welfare in the state.
“At the same time, current conditions are placed in broader context with both recent and distant past performance,” said Scott. “Most of the other reports produced around the state tend to focus relatively more on specific markets and industries. While Louisiana does have a few industries that tend to drive the macro data, examining a wider cross-section of industries helps to better understand the evolution of the Pelican State.”
The 35-page report analyzes three distinct areas of economy: output and income; employment and unemployment; and the housing market.
“In short, production of goods and services is down, but personal incomes do not match that decline (this is not usually what we observe during recessionary phases),” explained Scott. “While employment has improved since the worst of the pandemic shock, total employment is still below pre-pandemic levels and growth has stalled. While much of 2020 and 2021 has seen robust demand for housing, the housing market is cooling across the state.”
In addition to producing the Louisiana Economic Abstract and the REAL Report, the Center for Economic Research is a hub of industry and research expertise, providing economic analysis to private businesses, media, and government agencies in Louisiana and beyond. It serves to connect the University community with economic development efforts in the state by supplying detailed economic impact analysis of both private enterprise and government policy initiatives.