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August 18, 2011

ULM's 2011 Economic FactBook released

The Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Louisiana at Monroe has released its sixth annual "FactBook," a breakdown of leading economic indicators at the regional and parish level, with comparison to the state and nation.

The 2011 Factbook is a comprehensive compendium of local and regional information in four sections: demographics; labor force data; business climate information; and quality of life measures.

Wherever possible, parish, regional, state and national averages are included over a five-year period for comparison purposes, according to CBER Director and ULM Professor of Economics Robert Eisenstadt.

Until the book's publication, which came as an outgrowth of discussions between Eisenstadt, community leaders and ULM College of Business Administration Dean Ronald Berry, limited sources were available that consolidated and/or produced the kind of detailed and unbiased data provided for people and businesses considering relocating to the region.

The print edition of the book highlights key findings, while a more in-depth version is available online as a PDF document.

"Since the first publication in 2006, each Factbook has gotten a little better and little more comprehensive," Eisenstadt said. "We genuinely enjoy providing this resource to the community."

Among the compelling numbers highlighted in the 2011 edition is the 1/2 percent 10-year increase in population for the 12-parish area.

"That's pretty anemic overall," said Eisenstadt. "If we look at Ouachita and Lincoln parishes, however, we see a 5 1/2 percent increase ... Clearly what is going on is that the agricultural areas of our region are consolidating in Ouachita and Lincoln parishes."

Eisenstadt said the rising price of fuel may have contributed to the recent migration patterns in the region.

Another highlight over the past year is the announcement of CenturyLink's expansion in Monroe, which represents an eventual potential annual increase in household income of more than $100 million.

"The expansion is unlikely to be staffed by existing residents of northeast Louisiana," Eisenstadt said.

"Consequently, it bodes well for the local housing market as well as for regional in-migration."

To read the online version of the book, visit

A limited number of copies of the print edition are available upon request.

Additionally, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce plans to reproduce the print edition as an addition to the News-Star in late August.

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