August job gain of 11,400 largest single month gain on record
Baton Rouge, La. (October 6, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its COVID-19 economic indicator dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.
“Every indicator this week and month shows positive news in terms of economic recovery, but some highlight continued pain points for specific industries. Because of stricter dining and bar rules than our neighboring states, as well as more of a reliance on industrial construction, which continues to experience delays, our job recovery lags some out-of-state peer metros,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “However, this data lags – it’s from August – and with Phase III underway, we anticipate future reports to show marked improvement in these sectors.”
Key findings from this week’s dashboard include:
- Weekly unemployment claims fell for the tenth straight week, and are down 39% in that timeframe;
- The Capital Region added 11,400 jobs in August, which is the largest monthly job growth on record by several thousand;
- The Capital Region has gained more jobs back than some in-state metro areas like New Orleans, but trails some of its peer cities;
- Hotel occupancy was up over-the-year for the fifth week in a row, as were revenues;
- While most sectors have shown strong signs of recovery, the Leisure & Hospitality and Construction sectors – two of the largest in the region – are still struggling.
The Capital Region’s record-breaking recapture of 11,400 jobs in August is a positive data point, but losses remain higher than the height of the Great Recession. Through August the region is down 7.2 percent, whereas losses at the height of the recession were -6.2 percent. Job recovery in Baton Rouge lags out-of-state peer metros like Greenville, SC, Little Rock, AR, and Birmingham, AL, potentially due to the state’s more restrictive regulations on bars and restaurants, a sector that represents a third of total job losses.
The 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.
To download this week’s indicator dashboard directly, click here.
BRAC is regularly updating brac.org/recovery with business resources and guidance related to COVID-19.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,400 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.