The Bureau of Economic Analysis says Louisiana showed the 14th fastest gross domestic product growth in the nation for the first quarter of 2018.

The 2.3 percent growth rate is slightly higher than the expected 2.0 percent for the nation. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says its good news, that’s reflective of the state’s record low unemployment rate.

“We're excited about the continued progress, and what is represented here is a very powerful economy that is employing more people than ever before in the last decade here.”

But Pierson cautioned that GDP numbers can be fickle, and don’t represent the full picture of the state of Louisiana’s economy.

“The price of soybeans, and the price of a barrel of oil will often impact what we see from GDP, so I prefer to look at our low unemployment rate.”

Pierson pointed to a series of corporate announcements detailing new expansions planned for the state as major reasons for the GDP expansion. He says recent expansion of the Shintech facility in Plaquemine is a sign that the state’s economic growth is here to stay.

“Certainly those 120 well-paying jobs of 81 thousand annually also represent a tremendous multiplier across the community. The ripple effect that will roll from this plant will be significant.”