The military presence and defense contracts pumped more than $8.7 billion into the Louisiana economy during the 2012 fiscal year, with almost one third of the money tied to bases and activities in the New Orleans area, according to a summary of a long-sought economic impact analysis commissioned by the state. About 82,700 Louisiana jobs — or about 4.35 percent of the state’s employment — are tied to the military, and the workforce generated $287 million in state and local taxes in fiscal 2012, according to the study.
The military presence alone accounted for $5.2 billion during the year, an amount that includes payroll for troops and civilians who work for the Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard or Louisiana Military Department, plus contracts associated with those installations. The balance includes defense contracts held by private companies in petroleum, shipbuilding and other industries, totaling $2.8 billion. Also, $637 million in pension checks was paid to the almost 24,000 military retirees living in Louisiana, according to the study.
“We strongly support our military men and women in Louisiana as well as the installations at which they are based,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret said Wednesday. “Accordingly, we have committed a great deal of staff time to developing and maintaining strong relationships with military installation leaders here as well as their superiors at the Pentagon.”
The full report is still a work in progress, the culmination of months of research by The Roosevelt Group, Louisiana Economic Development staff and members of the Louisiana Military Advisory Council, which was briefed Monday on the summary. The full report is expected in coming weeks.