Closer look at Cenla’s 2023 economic outlook

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:32 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - The North Rapides Business and Industry Alliance, also known as NRBIA, held its first meeting of the new year on Monday, Jan 23.

In 2022 Central Louisiana saw growth in employment, consumer spending and new business development.

The outlook for 2023 is even brighter.

This meeting was all about Central Louisiana’s economic outlook, what happened in 2022 and what we can look forward to building on in 2023.

Dr. Randall Dupont, the dean of LSUA’s College of Business, was the speaker for the meeting. He is the author of the monthly Cenla Economic Dashboard.

Dr. Dupont said the story of 2022 for our area was one of jobs. We set records in six areas of employment, adding that the story of 2023 looks much the same.

“In 2023 we see a continued strong level of employment growth here in Central Louisiana,” said Dupont. “Particularly in Rapides and Grant Parishes. We are very pleased about that. I think that will take us pretty much through the first half of 2023.”

Dupont credits the large number of local college graduates as a main driver in our employment growth. Dupont said from a higher education standpoint, LSUA is doing all it can to keep graduates local, including implementing a new career development office, which will link students with potential employers.

“We are going to have in place a platform called ‘Handshake,’” said Dupont. This will allow employers in the area to connect with students who are graduating and those who want internships. Consumer spending is another major driver in our local economy.

Dupont expects it to stay strong, noting that post-pandemic numbers in the area have been solid. But, all numbers are contingent on maintaining growth in the employment sector.

“The other thing we are looking at in 2023 is consumer spending,” said Dupont. “It was very strong in 2021, we maintained it in ‘22 and I think that will stay strong as long as the job growth stays strong.”

Even with uncertainties in our national economy, Dupont said he is optimistic we will continue to see growth in our local economy.

Click here to report a typo. Please provide the title of the article in your email.