BRAC Releases Annual Capital Region Economic Metrics Dashboard

Regional dashboard tracks over 50 metrics of economic success

Baton Rouge, LA (April 16, 2024) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released an update to Progress by the Numbers, a Capital Region community dashboard tracking key metrics outlined in BRAC’s five-year strategic plan, BRING IT!, that are often used to understand the economic vitality of a region. The interactive dashboard can be accessed at brac.org/insights

“The Progress by the Numbers dashboard update detailed some monumental wins, with Capital Region poverty dropping, academic performance improving, and incomes increasing,” said BRAC Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence Andrew Fitzgerald. “By spotlighting over 50 economic metrics, we’re not only celebrating our successes but also pinpointing where we need to direct our efforts for even greater progress. Our goal is for transparency, accountability, and ultimately, collective action to propel the Baton Rouge Area forward.” 

The dashboard is divided into four sections corresponding to BRAC’s strategic plan – bolster our talent pipeline, diversify our industry base and job opportunities, create a more inclusive economy, and enhance our region’s livability. Each section tracks progress on BRAC’s larger five-year goal, and metrics of success for each. 

Key takeaways include: 

  • Record-setting year for research and development investments at Baton Rouge Area higher ed institutions, reaching $356 million, a 15.6% increase over the prior year; 
  • Significant improvement in 3rd-grade English LEAP test scores across ten out of twelve districts, with notable increases in Baker (16%), St. Helena (12%), and West Feliciana (11%); 
  • Nearly 8% increase in employees working at minority-owned firms; 
  • Average commute time in the region decreased by over a minute post-COVID; 
  • Median household income grew by more than 10% between 2021 and 2022; 
  • Reduction in the region’s poverty rate to 15.7%; 
  • BTR airport activity rebounded strongly to approximately 93% of pre-pandemic levels; 
  • Share of residents holding a bachelor’s degree surpassed 30% for the first time; 
  • Nearly doubled number of internships advertised on the Handshake platform between 2022 & 2023; 
  • Despite progress, women still earn 72 cents for every $1.00 made by men; 
  • Net migration remains a concern, with a record net loss of 25-to-44-year-olds and people with four-year degrees in 2022; and, 
  • Business applications declined by 21% between 2021 & 2022, though still 50% higher than 2019. 

To best navigate the dashboard, each metric details additional information on what it is tracking, why it is important to the economy, the reporting areas, and the data source. Metrics tied to BRAC-led initiatives are marked with a flag for easy recognition. And all metrics are given a green, red, or gray marker to symbolize how the region has fared since the baseline year. 

The dashboard was developed by Ruby Research, Tesseract Solutions, and BRAC. View the dashboard at brac.org/insights

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber   

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org

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Morgan is the Marketing Manager for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. In her role, she manages writing organizational publications and materials, oversees BRAC’s social media and blog, and coordinates timelines for all internal marketing projects.

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