With the lowest cost of business (KPMG’s 2016 Competitive Alternatives) and one of the lowest costs of living in Louisiana, Ouachita Parish acts as a population center and economic hub for northeast Louisiana. 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. 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 71,944
  • five nearby universities, colleges and vocational schools
  • an estimated 2016 population of 157,010 residents,  earning a median household income of $40,503.
  • unemployment rate at 4.1% (December 2017)
  • 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.

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.