Region’s weekly unemployment claims fall 34% in October
Baton Rouge, La. (November 11, 2021) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its monthly economic indicator dashboard that examines and analyzes the state of the regional economy. Current and archived dashboards are available online at brac.org/recovery.
“While individual sectors within the economy continue to recover slowly, a number of indicators show significant improvement in the region,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior vice president of business intelligence for BRAC. “The number of unemployed residents in the region is down to pre-pandemic levels. One big takeaway is that some people have just left the workforce – this could be through retirement, entry into higher education or a training program, or even parents deciding to stay at home rather than participate in the workforce. With job openings and wages increasing, it is clear that companies are looking to hire and return the economy to normal – the next task is ensuring the region has the talent available to fill these positions.”
The region has enjoyed four consecutive months of job growth, and continues to outperform the state overall. Compared to peer regions, Baton Rouge saw the third highest growth in its employment index during September.
Key findings from this month’s dashboard include:
- The metro is at its lowest unemployment rate (4.2%) since February 2020;
- Unemployment claims declined 32% during October, marking their lowest point in 18 months, while job postings are up 11% compared to September;
- Baton Rouge metro added 600 jobs in September on top of the 3,100 jobs added in August. September job gains came from Government (+2,600), Construction (+500) and Trade/Transportation/Utilities (+100);
- Leisure & Hospitality lost 2,300 jobs over the past two months, wiping out the sector’s late spring/early summer job gains. This reflects a national trend of labor shortages in the sector;
- The hotel occupancy rate in Baton Rouge is about 10% higher than the national average, and the region continues to see higher occupancy and revenues than in 2019 or 2020.
Vaccine uptake continues to vary significantly among Capital Region parishes, with the rate of new series initiated declining 21% between September and October. The region continues to lag the national average vaccination rate of 67.5%. Businesses are encouraged to host on-site vaccination events for employees to increase vaccinations rates and contain community spread. Information on points of contact for arranging on-site vaccinations can be found on BRAC’s blog.
To download this month’s indicator dashboard directly, click here.
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.
Through its BR Works initiative, BRAC compiles local job openings. Job seekers can visit brac.org/br-works for access to hundreds of employers seeking applicants for a range of occupations.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 1,500 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.