BRAC Economic Outlook shows that, led by the construction sector, the metro area continues to thrive in terms of job creation
BATON ROUGE, La. (December 7, 2023) — The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) yesterday released its 2024 Economic Outlook report, highlighting record-breaking numbers in terms of jobs, household incomes, population, and higher education enrollment. The report is available for download at brac.org/research.
“In terms of this year’s economic data, the numbers are uniformly strong: more businesses, more jobs, and more wages paid than at any point in history,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence for BRAC. “Importantly, this economic success has benefited more than just ownership and management – middle-class incomes are also at an all-time high, while 12,000 fewer residents are living in poverty than were a year ago. However, this economic success has increased the demand for talent in the region at the same time we saw net outmigration for the first time since 2018. To sustain the record-setting growth we’ve experienced post-pandemic, the region must prioritize attracting talent from other parts of the country, while also retaining people currently learning, living, and working in the Capital Region.”
The report, prepared by Fitzgerald and BRAC’s Manager of Economic and Policy Research Jake Polansky, offers insights, analysis and a forecast of the Capital Region’s economy for the upcoming year based on BRAC analysis and surveying.
Key takeaways from the 2024 Economic Outlook include:
- The Capital Region added nearly 12,000 jobs over-the-year and is poised to add nearly 17,000 more by 2025;
- The high-wage Construction sector alone added nearly 10,000 jobs, giving the Capital Region the highest year-over-year Construction job growth in the nation;
- Higher education enrollment surpassed 60,000 enrolled students for the first time in history, strengthening the region’s potential workforce pipeline;
- Despite the economic growth, the region experienced net-negative migration, as more people moved out of the region than in for the first time since 2018; and,
- While business leaders are optimistic about 2024, the economic growth combined with net-negative migration has tightened the labor market in the Baton Rouge metro area, making a shortage of talent businesses’ top obstacle.
In addition to presenting the 2024 Economic Outlook, BRAC announced that the Capital Region saw seven notable economic development project wins in 2023, accounting for 104 new jobs and $410 million in capital investments.
BRAC began producing the annual Economic Outlook in 2007. Since its inception, the report has become the market standard for annual regional economic data, providing the most comprehensive snapshot of regional economic indicators and business survey data available.
Riverbend Research, BRAC’s standalone research consulting firm, 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 can learn more or submit research project requests at riverbendresearch.org.
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.