The difference an hours drive makes could mean the difference between a robust economy and an economy that is slowly coming back. Economists looked at four cities across our state. Two of those cities showed tremendous economic growth over the past several months. The other two economies were certainly affected by the reduction in oil prices and oil-related jobs. 

The towns that are showing robust growth are Baton Rouge and Lake Charles. According to LSU Economist Dr. Loren Scott, Baton Rouge saw an expansion of 5% and Lake Charles saw an expansion of 8%. In fact the Lake Area has seen over $100 billion in industrial announcements.

In a really good year, in the past, if we would’ve found 5 billion across the entire state, we would’ve thought that was great. We have 100 billion just in one place.

The Baton Rouge area has about $10 billion in projects that have been announced. Most of these industrial announcements involve the chemical industry and the liquefied natural gas export sector.

Meanwhile the economies of Lafayette and Houma have certainly felt the effects of the current situation in the  oil industry. Dr. Scott commented to the Louisiana Radio Network,

Where the decline is taking place, it’s primarily either in the actual oil and gas firms themselves or in the service industries that work for the oil and gas industry.

The economies in both of those communities have certainly shrunk over the past year. However, experts agree that when the oil industry begins to rebound the economies of these communities will begin to strengthen as well.