The American Legislative Council on Thursday released the 2023 edition of its state economic competitiveness index, which analyzes 15 state policy variables to rank states by economic outlook, and three to rank by economic performance over a decade.
The latter is measured by state gross domestic product, absolute domestic migration, and non-farm payroll between 2011 and 2021, variables the report contends are “highly influenced by state policy.”
The state’s cumulative growth in gross domestic product over the decade was 12.45%, ranked 48th, while absolute domestic migration was negative 160,671, which placed 40th.
Louisiana’s non-farm payroll also declined by 1.24%, which ranked 46th in the nation.
Neighboring Texas was ranked seventh in the same category, while Arkansas was ranked 15th and Mississippi 37th. States with the best economic performance include Florida in first, followed by Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Washington, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
The Bayou State fared slightly better with the report’s economic outlook rankings, which measures variables including tax rates, recently legislated changes, debt service as a share of tax revenue, public employees per 10,000 population, minimum wage, right-to-work status, and others.
“Each of these factors is influenced directly by state lawmakers through the legislative process,” according to the report, authored by economists Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams. “Generally speaking, states that spend less – especially on income transfer programs — and states that tax less — particularly on productive activities such as working or investing – experience higher growth rates than states that tax and spend more.”
ALEC ranked Louisiana 26th overall for economic outlook, down six places from last year’s report. Louisiana ranked 22nd in 2021, 30th in 2020, and 27th in 2019 and 2018.
The state received its highest ranking among the 15 variables for a lack of inheritance tax, minimum wage, and status as a right-to-work state. Louisiana ranked fifth for property tax burden of $18.44 per $1,000 of personal income, but ranked 46th for sales tax burden of $34.85 per $1,000 of personal income.
The top 10 states for economic outlook include Utah in first, followed by North Carolina, Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Indiana, North Dakota, Florida and Nevada.
The bottom 10 states for economic outlook include Rhode Island in 40th, followed by Maryland, Hawaii, Oregon, Maine, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Minnesota, Vermont and New York.