Bossier City has a fiery business sector and has leveraged itself in the past few years as a force to be reckoned with. The city is resilient, and boasts a proven track record of bouncing back – as of April 2010, the unemployment rate had fallen down to 4.6 percent, down from the 5.7 the city saw in 2008 and well below the 6.2 percent the State of Louisiana is facing. As of November 2011, the unemployment rate in Bossier- Shreveport was six percent, as opposed to the state’s 6.9 percent. *Louisiana’s overall 6.9 percent is the 15th lowest in the country, and third lowest in the South.
The reasons for steady economic stability in the area are many. The several area casinos have brought thousands of direct jobs to the area, as well as indirect jobs at up- and-coming restaurants, hotels and retail stores surrounding and infiltrating the casino district and the Louisiana Boardwalk. In addition to this, the discovery of the Haynesville Shale in 2008 gave a rebirth to the gas and oil industry Louisiana historically depended upon. Barksdale Air Force’s location also nudges the local economy along. The Department of Defense has invested $80 million in construction of the base, and the base itself has an annual economic impact of $1 billion on the Ark-La-Tex region.
Another huge impact on the economy is the booming film industry known as “Hollywood South.” Competitive tax incentives, an established infrastructure and specialized workforce have served to bolster the film industry, as well as the digital media, sound recording and live performance industries. Since 2005, more than 105 movie and television productions have been filmed in the Bossier-Shreveport area with budgets totaling more than $1 billion and creating more than 7,700 crew positions. The area was ranked No. 4 in Motion Picture Industry Growth in 2010 (Business Facilities magazine) and The Best Destination in the U.S. to Shoot Movies for two years in a row (P3 Production Magazine - 2006/2007).
Area construction is another great indication of the health of local business, and construction projects in Bossier City have been rolling in steadily since 1993. The construction of the Bossier Parish Community College, the $140 million Louisiana Boardwalk, the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs expansion, and most recently the $195 million Margaritaville Resort Casino project, proves that business and industry are alive and well in Bossier City. When developments spiral forth, so does the cash flow.
Unsurprisingly, the three industries in Bossier City that see the most employment are construction, healthcare and education. Endless city improvement projects, spectacular healthcare and quality education prove that the Bossier City-Shreveport area is flourishing, and with the added bonus that the majority of commuters live within a 10- to 20-minute drive of their workplace, the city almost seems too good to be true.
In Louisiana, companies will find a skilled workforce, with more than 103,000 professionals with a background in software development or digital media. The industry also draws support from research hubs, such as Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise in Lafayette and the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City. With strong university curricula and programs, the state has graduated nearly 5,000 students in the software development field in the past five years, supplying the state a pipeline of talent for high-tech and software development companies. In addition, the state’s healthy business climate, low taxes, competitive labor and operating costs are compelling for new or expanding companies.
Source: www.city-data.com, www.bls.gov, *Louisiana Workforce Commission, www.louisianaeconomicdevelopment.com