Aug 7, 2023 - Business

Louisiana's new business hotspots

Data: U.S. Census; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Some 21 new business applications were filed per 1,000 residents across the New Orleans-metro area in 2022, per new Census Bureau and IRS data.

  • That's down 22% from 2021 — and puts the city at 14th among national metro areas.

Why it matters: New business applications are an important measure of an area's perceived economic health. If lots of people are trying to start new companies in a given city, it's a sign that they're bullish on the area's prospects.

The word "startup" tends to evoke buzzy Silicon Valley tech ventures. But young companies of all stripes, from stores and restaurants to software and manufacturing firms, play a big economic role.

  • As of 2021, more than 66.7 million Americans worked for companies with fewer than 100 employees, and those companies posted nearly $3.6 trillion in annual payroll, per census data.

Be smart: The New Orleans metro's rate is higher than the national average of 15 applications per 1,000 residents. And just in Orleans Parish, the rate jumps to 25 per 1,000.

  • Other Louisiana metro-area parishes are also seeing higher-than-average application rates, including Lafayette, East Baton Rouge and Caddo.

Yes, and: Louisiana's growth in manufacturing jobs has been higher than the national average since President Biden took office, Axios' Hans Nichols reports.

  • From January 2021 to May 2023 the state saw 6.6% growth in manufacturing jobs, which amounted to about 8,500 more. The national growth rate during the same time was 6.4%.

The big picture: Just over 5 million new business applications were filed nationwide in 2022, or 15.1 for every 1,000 residents.

  • That's down about 6.6% from 2021, when nearly 5.4 million applications were filed nationwide, or 16.2 for every 1,000 residents.

Zoom out: Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach (40.9), Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Roswell (31.3) and Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford (28.7) took the top spots for major metro areas as ranked by new business applications in 2022.

Reality check: A filed application is no guarantee of a healthy, thriving business to follow — but at the very least it's a sign of economic optimism.


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