Louisiana Central’s Lightcast report shows regional manufacturing jobs to increase

OCTOBER 18, 2022, ALEXANDRIA, LA — Regional employment in the manufacturing industry for Central Louisiana is expected to outpace the national average during the next four years, according to economic data released by Louisiana Central in October.


Louisiana Central’s report found that within the next four years, manufacturing jobs available in Central Louisiana will increase by 14 percent across the 10-parish area while overall jobs available will tumble by 2 percent statewide and 4 percent nationally. The report is compiled by Louisiana Central’s economic modeling research partner, Lightcast. Lightcast examines data from the US Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other sources. Based on 2016 numbers, more than 9,100 people in Central Louisiana worked for manufacturers in the region; however, Lightcast predicts the manufacturing workforce could grow by more than 1,300 jobs by 2026.


“This is great news,” Jim Clinton, President and CEO of Louisiana Central said.  “Manufacturing is already a key economic driver in our region. The best news from this report is that manufacturing jobs in our region are expected to grow significantly faster than the national average in the next few years. Manufacturing jobs export services outside our region and bring cash into our region. The revenue from manufacturing generates a multiplier effect causing jobs in other sectors to also be created.”


Manufacturing is a large contributor to Louisiana’s economy and comprises a large portion of the overall statewide workforce. Average salaries for Central Louisiana manufacturing jobs are more than $72,000 per year.


Central Louisiana is a prime location for manufacturing.


“Our region offers many resources and incentives for companies to build, invest, and grow,”  Lafe Jones, Executive Director of Industry Relations at Louisiana Central said. “Some of the benefits include support from the state and from local organizations like Louisiana Central, the region’s unique workforce, the available education and training providers, the supportive infrastructure, and the quality of life Central Louisiana provides. During the past couple of years we have seen many existing manufacturers in our region add new jobs, and that trend is expected to continue. At Louisiana Central, we focus our attention on attracting new people to our region for job fulfillment, in addition to supporting efforts to add new jobs.”


The job growth expected for the region is in contrast with national trends. By 2026, Central Louisiana’s manufacturing workforce growth percentage is expected to be larger than the national average. The Lightcast report creates a national average employment number that is adjusted for regional size. It revealed the region’s  number of manufacturing jobs, based on national averages, should shrink by nearly 500. However, the expected gain for Central Louisiana is significantly different. The 10-parish region’s manufacturing workforce is expected to increase by 1,300 jobs. Lightcast data shows the statewide manufacturing industry is forecasted to lose about 2,600 jobs.


“There are numerous career pathways available in manufacturing that are high-paying and local. Seeing growth in our regional manufacturing sector is great news for our economy and could help keep and attract people to our community,” Javonti Thomas, Program Coordinator said. “If we see our local industry grow by more than 1,000 new positions, our work to train and recruit a diverse workforce will have never been more important. Part of Louisiana Central’s strategy is leveraging partnerships with local manufacturers, economic development partners, nonprofits, K-12 educators and higher education institutions and supporting programs that prepare the future generation for manufacturing careers.”

Download the Lightcast Report Here