Jan 17, 2013 1:51 PM by Press Release
Lafayette, LA- The Lafayette MSA is ranked 24th out of 200 metro areas in the Best Performing Cities Index, compiled annually by the Milken Institute. Lafayette was one of the biggest movers in the index, jumping up 69 spots over last year's ranking.
The index ranks U.S. metros based on their ability to create and sustain jobs and economic growth. It includes both long-term (five years) and short-term (one year) measurements of employment and salary growth. There are also measurements of technology output growth.
Lafayette ranked first in current job growth and second in five-year wage growth. The MSA also ranked near the top for one-year (10th) and five-year (15th) job growth. Employment growth is weighted most heavily in the index because of its critical importance in determining a community's vitality. Wage growth measures the quality of the jobs being created and retained.
"Job growth along with a significant increase in wages demonstrates that Lafayette's economy is diverse and wealth is being shared by a greater percentage of the population," says Gregg Gothreaux, President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. "Over the last 15 years, we've experienced significant and steady growth in per capita income and many other indicators. This shows the amazing success of our economy and its resilience."
Lafayette's high marks for job growth reflect consistent recognition Lafayette has received over the past several years. In 2012, Lafayette was second out of 350 metro areas in Business Facilities' Job Growth Leaders list- identifying our community as one that's "ripe for economic growth and a hotbed for job and business growth." In August, CNN Money included Lafayette in its list of 25 communities where jobs are available. In its July report, IHS Global projected that Lafayette would have the highest employment growth in the nation in 2012. That projection is supported by actual job growth numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In November, Lafayette experienced the largest month-to-month percent growth in employment in the entire country- 10.1%.
The report shows that between May 2011 and May 2012, employment in the MSA increased 10.5%-the fastest rate in the country- echoing the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Officials with the Milken Institute credit Lafayette's leap in the rankings to a renewed energy efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. Along with growing exploration in the Gulf, Lafayette has additional potential to capitalize on the strong university presence in the region.
Baton Rouge, Shreveport and New Orleans all ranked within the top 100 metros on the list.