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LSUA January Economic Dashboard, Cenla economy continues to remain strong

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 12:38 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2021 at 12:39 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Thanks to data released every month in the LSUA Economic Dashboard, it’s been possible to see how the local economy is doing in the midst of a pandemic. By all indications, it looks like Cenla’s economy continues to remain strong.

Looking at the January dashboard, which includes data for November and some for December, unemployment numbers continue to trend in the right direction.

In November, the state’s unemployment rate improved from 9.3 percent to 8.1 percent. Here at home, Alexandria’s unemployment rate is sitting at a strong 5.9 percent. However, small businesses are still struggling across the state and here at home.

To date, Rapides is down about 44 percent in small business revenue, compared to 36 percent statewide. Even so, consumer spending continues to remain strong, especially leading up to the holidays in 2020.

“You’ll see the November sales activity and it looks good. We’re encouraged by that. We’re encouraged by the fact too that when we look at the sales activity for the first week of December, we see increases still. We are running ahead in early December where we were in January of last year. November, likewise, we’re running ahead. So we’re expecting when this data comes out for December, which we will get in early February, that we will be ahead of schedule, and we’ll wind up the year on a good note.”

LSUA College of Business Dean, Dr. Randall Dupont

In addition to consumer spending, the overall numbers released in the dashboard continue to look promising.

“I think the latest data that we have is quite promising, it’s encouraging. We’ll know more as we get into the new year. We’ll take a look at the policies of the new administration and that will give us some guidance on how it will impact Louisiana. We are definitely encouraged.”

LSUA College of Business Dean, Dr. Randall Dupont

Small business applications are also up across the state. New and existing small businesses now have a place to go for help right here in Cenla.

Officials are cutting the ribbon on a new, small business development center at the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. We’ll have more on that later in the week.

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