BRAC Releases Economic Indicator Dashboard for Capital Region

A region within 2% of full jobs recovery

Baton Rouge, LA – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its monthly economic indicator dashboard that examines and analyzes the state of the regional economy. To download this month’s indicator dashboard directly, click here.

“The Capital Region’s labor market bounced back to over 400,000 jobs in February, returning to the high levels of employment we saw during the holiday season,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior vice president of business intelligence for BRAC. “It’s important to note that these numbers don’t include the self-employed, which is key for Baton Rouge: we have 2,300 more businesses than we did near the end of 2019, and as many as 1,700 may be sole proprietorships.”

The Leisure & Hospitality sector continues to see a boom in hotel occupancy and revenue, despite its workforce being down about 33% from before the pandemic. Labor shortages across industry sectors will be interesting to track over the coming months to determine whether hiring will catch up, or industries adjust to a smaller labor pool.

This month’s dashboard includes a look at COVID-era business applications across the region, which show a 9.5% increase in establishments from the end of 2019 through the end of 2021, higher than the national average of 7%. The region’s three largest parishes had new establishment growth at 10.3% across that timeframe. A deeper look at this data is available on BRAC’s Substack: BR by the Numbers.

Key findings from this month’s dashboard include:

· New data shows that the Capital Region has 10% more business establishments than it did pre-pandemic, meaning that a 2020 spike in business applications lead to new formations.

· The region added 5,200 jobs in February, with seven of eight key industry sectors showing month-over-month gains.

· Job postings in February were up 64% year-over-year, rising this month for the first time since October.

· The most pandemic-affected industry, Construction, added 2,000 jobs in February, which is largest monthly increase for the sector in the last four months.

· All parishes in the Capital Region are currently classified by the CDC as “low community level,” its lowest measure of COVID’s impact on health and healthcare systems.

· Hotel revenues were strong for the week ending April 2nd, and occupancy rates remain above the national average.

With job openings significantly higher than the number of people seeking work in the Baton Rouge Area, BRAC encourages jobseekers to explore employment opportunities through BR Works, the region’s first and only regional jobs portal. The site also includes a resource bank for jobseekers, including financial resources available to help individuals interested in upskilling or reskilling into a new field.

BRAC’s Economic Indicator dashboard looks at a number of data points to illustrate the economy’s current state. With data from a number of regional stakeholders, the dashboard is the most real-time analysis of the Baton Rouge metro economy available.

BRAC’s business intelligence team provides custom research services on a competitive fee-for-service basis, including labor market research, economic impact modeling, demographic and economic data, and general research and consulting. Interested businesses may contact Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence Andrew Fitzgerald at andrew@brac.org.


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