Just before the Independence Day holiday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released the most recent report of economic activity for states, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The report showed that the average state’s GDP decreased by 1.6 percent and only four states had positive GDP growth. But even within this bleak picture of the nation’s economy, Louisiana remains at the bottom of the pack.

Louisiana’s GDP decreased by 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 2022, ranking 45th in the nation only behind Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, West Virginia, and New Mexico. The largest industry decreases were in the manufacturing of nondurable goods which decreased by 2.29 percent followed by oil and gas at .99 percent and retail at .84 percent.

For those following Louisiana’s economic performance, this outcome isn’t surprising. Louisiana also saw its economy shrink in the 3rd quarter of 2021 before increasing only slightly in the 4th quarter of that year. Louisiana remains mired in slow economic growth weighed down by national inflation.

Louisiana doesn’t have to continue on this same path, however. Domestic energy production will be key to bringing down American energy prices and making sure the world isn’t reliant on foreign adversaries to heat and cool their homes. Louisiana is blessed with abundant natural resources that can be tapped to unleash the American energy sector.  Likewise, Louisiana has some of the most productive ports in the world as supply chains remain backed up.

If Louisiana can undertake key reforms in taxes, education, and labor it can thrive. If not, it’s likely the state will continue to lose population driven by the poor economic performance seen in this most recent report.