Tuesday, May 21, 2024

LA Tech College of Business publications paint comprehensive picture of state economy

by BIZ Magazine

RUSTON, La.—The Center for Economic Research, housed in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business, recently published the 2022-23 Louisiana Economic Abstract. The publication is the second 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 associate professor of economics at Tech. This issue of the Louisiana Economic Abstract can be downloaded at business.latech.edu/cer.

“The idea for a comprehensive picture of our state’s economy came about after speaking with business leaders, policy makers, and journalists about the Center for Economic Research and our quarterly publication, the Regional Economic Analysis of Louisiana (REAL) Report,” said Scott.

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. 

“This year’s economic abstract shows state growth slowing along multiple fronts,” said Scott. “Job growth is still positive, but is growing at a slower rate. This is expected to continue well into 2023 since population dynamics shifted in the wake of COVID-19. Some industries have recovered both in terms of employment and output, while others lag. The same disparity is observed across the MSAs as well.”

The 47-page report analyzes three distinct areas of economy: output and income; employment and unemployment; and the housing market.

“Housing markets are contracting in most areas of the state as the Fed has increased its key benchmark rate at the fastest pace in over two decades. Average days on the market has increased and buyers that remain in the market are less sensitive to interest rate movements,” said Scott.

The report indicates that real GDP in the state has stabilized, but has recovered at a permanently lower level than pre-pandemic output. According to Scott, this remains an area of opportunity where policy makers and economic development professionals can partner to develop policies that attract new business investment to Louisiana.

“We are in the hard part of the economic recovery for the state,” said Scott. “We need not only to grow the labor force, but also the population since we lost about 50,000 residents since the start of the pandemic.”

Analysis in the latest edition of the REAL Report published this month supports this, as well. In addition to the economic forecasts for the state, the Fall 2022 issue focuses on the housing market, employment recovery across the state, factors affecting health insurance costs, forecasts of natural gas pricing, and the potential economic impact of passenger transit from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

Team members contributing to this issue of the REAL Report include Scott, senior economics major Georgia Carroway of Benton, senior finance major Travis Corum, of Pitkin, junior economics major Joseph Curtin, of Jackson, Tennessee, senior economics major Ellis Griffin, of Ruston, junior economics major Marshall Keen, of Blanchard, senior economics major Lauren Lasiter, of Bossier City, and senior economics major Liam Moppert, of Baton Rouge.

The REAL Report is a quarterly publication designed to provide insight into recent economic developments in Louisiana. It is produced by the Center for Economic Research, in collaboration with faculty and students in College of Business, for the state of Louisiana and our region of the South. Providing an invaluable learning experience, the report is compiled by undergraduate students in partial fulfillment of their Regional Economic Analysis class. The Fall 2022 report is the 10th in the series.

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.

For more information, visit business.latech.edu/cer.

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