Ranked # 4 nationally in economic development by Site Selection magazine (2011), Ouachita Parish acts as a population center and economic hub for Northeast Louisiana. Recently, Ouachita Parish has seen a flurry of locations and expansions in very sector from manufacturing to IT to agribusiness.

With the lowest cost of business (KPMG’s 2016 Competitive Alternatives) and one of the lowest costs of living in Louisiana, Ouachita Parish is an ideal location for families and companies. Monroe-West Monroe also serves as a healthcare hub for a three-state region of Northeast Louisiana, South Arkansas and West Mississippi with more than 16,300 healthcare-related jobs.

Healthcare Sector:

Information Technology Sector:

Ouachita Parish has recently seen a flurry of announcements and expansions. CenturyLink, the nation’s second largest communications provider in the U.S., expanded its corporate headquarters in Monroe, LA. The expansion added another 800 new jobs.  IBM located a client innovation center in Monroe, adding another 400 new tech jobs.

Manufacturing Sector:

Graphic Packaging International invested $274 million to build a new carton converting plant in Monroe and to modernize its existing paper mill in West Monroe. Drax Biomass, a wood pellet manufacturer, moved its corporate headquarters from Atlanta, GA to Monroe, LA. Gardner Denver Thomas and other companies have all announced expansions in Ouachita Parish- a testament to the competitive advantages businesses will find here.

Economic Profile:

Ouachita offers a diverse and thriving economy:

  • a multimodal transportation system of interstate, Class 1 rail, air, and port service
  • a civilian labor force of 69,958 (Environics Analytics, 2018)
  • five nearby universities, colleges and vocational schools
  • an estimated 2018 population of 157,450 residents,  earning an average household income of 62,669 (Environics Analytics, 2018)
  • unemployment rate at 5.0% (May 2018)
  • a stable and thriving housing market
  • numerous industrial parks and certified sites

Ouachita Parish Offers a Great Quality of Life

Ouachita Parish provides a quality of life that rivals any community.  From the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, two ballet companies, numerous museums to walking/hiking/biking trails, boating, water skiing, golfing, fine and casual dining and so much more, Monroe-West Monroe provides every amenity.

Landry Vineyards Concert Series

Smog-free, family-friendly communities, easy commutes, and a low cost of living translate into the “Happiest Place to Live,” according to Harvard researchers. The cost of  living for the Monroe MSA is below the national average. The American dream of home ownership is very attainable in Northeast Louisiana. Those considering locating to Ouachita Parish will find a variety of affordable housing options from downtown condos, beautiful single family house, apartments and duplexes. Families will find top quality public and private schools. Ouachita Parish public schools is ranked in the top 20 of school districts in Louisiana, according to Louisiana Dept. of Education’s 2017 performance scores.