Capital Region Close to Fully Recovering Pandemic Job Losses

Business Report

The Capital Region’s unemployment rate is at a record-low 2.6%, while the Baton Rouge area is 0.5% away from fully recovering the pandemic jobs losses, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber reports. 

There are about 11,200 unemployed workers in the region—the fewest since 1999—and almost three times as many job postings, BRAC says. In this tight labor market, the most in-demand occupations are registered nurses, retail workers and retail supervisors. 

However, the region’s 1.2% year-over-year job growth trailed several peer metro areas, including New Orleans (4%) and Lafayette (2.6%). 

Other takeaways from BRAC’s monthly economic report include:

  • From June 2021 through July 2022, EBR’s 7.1% wage growth in service-providing industries, although high, did not keep up with the 9.1% annual inflation rate.
  • Over that same period, West Feliciana Parish’s average wage growth was 15.5% across all industries, tops in the Capital Region, including a “staggering” 43% increase in goods-producing industries like construction and manufacturing. 
  • Hotel occupancy fell in mid-December compared to the same period last year, though average revenue per room remains above pre-pandemic levels. 
  • There are about 20,000 more employed people in the region than nonfarm jobs, a reversal of historical trends that may indicate more self-employment and remote work. 

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