A Business Development Advisors study shows military related spending in Louisiana accounts for $7.7 billion in economic output and 77,000 military related jobs. That includes the seven military bases and the Louisiana National Guard. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says there is a forgotten group that helps to add to the economy, 27-thousand military retirees.
"Retirees are great. They don't have kids in school and they aren't putting heavy loads on public resources and again they are contributing significant to our economy."
The Trump Administration has made it clear they want to make additions to the nation’s military. Total military spending in Louisiana was 1.52 billion in 2016, the highest since 2012. Pierson says building up the nation’s military could directly impact the state’s economy.
"It could mean a lot of additional troops at Fort Polk. It could mean some important improvements to facilities at Barksdale. Certainly we want to bring as much as that activity to Louisiana as we possibly can."
With so many military installations being trimmed down or closed altogether, Pierson says it’s important that communication remains open with Congress to keep the military installations in Louisiana operating.
"What is very important is to make sure we're aware of the decisions that happen in Congress that impact our state and keep these installations strong."