Shale gas is an available resource being exploited using existing technology. We need this kind of good economic good news in America, badly. Someone should invite President Obama down to Shreveport and give him a tour.
July 1, 2009
Shreveport-Bossier among best for a fresh start, Web site says
Shreveport-Bossier City has been ranked 15th among the top 20 places in the U.S. to begin a new career or a new life, according to the Web site BusinessWeek.com.
The Web site cites Shreveport-Bossier City for having a low cost of living and seeing new jobs coming from the natural gas industry and the movie business.
The listing reinforces what local leaders have believed for a long time, said Kurt Foreman, president of the Northwest Louisiana Economic Development Foundation. "We certainly feel like this is a great place to start over, build a business or grow a career.
"I'm pleased that these national magazines are seeing what we have seen for a long time."
The recession has not negatively impacted Shreveport-Bossier City as much as other parts of the nation, Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker said. "We do have job opportunities. ... We've had a net increase in population and jobs.
"This news can only encourage people to be more receptive to coming to this region."
The BusinessWeek.com article notes that a number of movies, among them "W.", include scenes filmed in Shreveport and the surrounding area. In fact, Oliver Stone shot most of his movie in Shreveport.
Another example not noted by the Web site is "Year One," which was filmed near Sibley and on a Shreveport soundstage. That moving, starring Jack Black, opens in theaters today.
But the local film industry has slowed significantly this year. The next major project is "Straw Dogs," a Sony Screen Gems picture slated to begin filming here this summer.
On the other hand, interest in the Haynesville Shale in northwest Louisiana continues to fuel employment in the region. The natural gas formation, trumpeted as perhaps the largest in the nation, has pumped millions of dollars into some property owners' pockets -- including local governments -- since the discovery was announced in April 2008.
A recently completed economic impact study estimates Haynesville Shale activity created about 32,742 jobs, about $2.4 billion in business sales statewide and nearly $3.9 billion in household earnings, including almost $3.2 billion in lease and royalty payments to private landowners, in 2008.
Topping BusinessWeek.com's list is the Anchorage, Alaska, metropolitan area. Also among its top five are Provo-Orem, Utah; Kennewick-Richland-Pasco and Yakima, both in Washington; and Omaha, Neb.-Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The Web site ranked metropolitan areas based on the percentage of companies planning to hire in the third quarter, according to a survey by Milwaukee staffing firm Manpower of 28,348 U.S. employers that was conducted April 6-29. Businessweek.com says it eliminated Barnstable, Mass. (Cape Cod), which would have topped the list, because the surge in expected hiring in the next quarter is likely due to seasonal hires.
In cases where areas have equal percentages of companies planning to hire, the Web site says, the unemployment rate was used to break the tie. The best job prospects for each area also were pulled from the same survey.
Home prices used for the BusinessWeek.com's list were provided by Zillow.com, 2008 population is based on U.S. Census Bureau data, and the March unemployment rate comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.