Lafayette has the largest employment increase in the US, according to new numbers recently released. The Lafayette Economic Development Authority CEO Greg Gothreaux said, "Lafayette leads the nation in employment at 8.6%. The only places that grew more than us...were bigger places."
Gothreaux said the employment rates grew heavily because of the booming oil and gas industry. He further explained that the energy and medical fields are at the top for employment.
A combination of new, start-up businesses and older enterprises have also helped the employment rate grow. The economy continues to strengthen thanks to the employment rate.
"The fact that we are creating more jobs than anyone else is a testament to that."
Small business owner Teresa Breaux started her company, Lil' Bite O' Heave Cupcakery in December, and said she has seen a steady growth in business.
"Opening a small business is still very conducive to an individual and we are still growing. People are coming day by day, and my advice to those, if you're thinking about opening a small business, Lafayette is a great choice. "
Classic Auto Spa, the "super car-wash" started by Mike Ververica and his son is also a booming business. Ververica said he was concerned about making a large investment, but soon found Lafayette was the best choice for his business.
"We have grown month to month," he explained. He said his customer base not only gives him a good view into how well his business is growing, but how well the over-all economy is doing.
"I talk with my customers; a lot of them are in the oil and gas industry and when you see oil and gas industry grow, you will see growth in the Lafayette economy."
The 8.6% increase translates to 13,500 new jobs in the parish.