Baton Rouge ‘new normal’ is reduced workplace travel


Workplace travel in the Baton Rouge area has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, but that may reflect the Capital Region’s shift toward hybrid and remote work, according to the latest economic indicator report from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. 

“The data this month shows what may be a ‘new normal’ in terms of travel and mobility,” says Andrew Fitzgerald, senior vice president of business intelligence for BRAC, in a prepared statement. “While hotel occupancy is above pre-pandemic levels, and retail and recreation travel is just shy of where it was in late 2021, workplace travel is still down nearly 18%. Most parts of peoples’ lives are back to what they were before COVID, but hybrid and remote work options appear to be sticky. It’s worth watching how this pattern may affect things like talent retention, employee benefits, or commercial office leasing.”  

Key findings from this month’s dashboard include:  

  • Over the past two years unemployment has fallen dramatically, employment is up, and the size of the region’s labor force has increased slightly. 
  • Baton Rouge’s leisure and hospitality sector has added 2,300 jobs in the last two months. 
  • Demand for labor remains high despite fears of a potential economic downturn.
  • Revenue per room for Capital Region hotels is up 17% in the last year. 
  • Reduced travel to workplaces may reflect national data that shows more people are working from home compared to pre-pandemic. See the full report from BRAC. 
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