Facing a difficult path to re-election, Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards has been trying to sell the fiction that Louisiana’s economy has improved under his leadership, but the numbers tell a different story.
The Advocate reports that Louisiana lost 1,700 jobs over the last 12 months through March, with the biggest losses in the state’s vital construction industry. To make matters worse, US Census estimates show that over 68,000 people have departed Louisiana for other states since Edwards took office. Industries reliant on Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), including the oil and gas industry, were especially hard-hit over the last year. Edwards has been criticized in recent months for his botched changes to ITEP, with business leaders accusing him of having “broken” the critical economic development program, as well as for threatening lawsuits against oil and gas companies.
“Under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana continues to lose jobs as tens of thousands of workers pack their bags and flee his tax-hiking policies,” said RGA Deputy Communications Director John Burke. “The truth is that Louisiana’s economy is in decline after nearly four years of Edwards’ mismanagement, and working families across the state need new leadership.”