Construction Sector Helps Capital Region Hit Pre-Pandemic Jobs Total

Business Report

The Capital Region hit its pre-pandemic jobs total in December following six straight months of growth, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber reports. 

Recent gains in the construction sector contributed to the rebound, though that sector remains 5,000 jobs short of where it was before the pandemic. 

Other takeaways from BRAC’s monthly economic indicator dashboard include:

  • Nonfarm jobs reached March 2020 levels, though the unemployment rate ticked up. The Workforce Commission reported a 3% unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the Baton Rouge metro area in December.  
  • The construction sector added 1,300 jobs, its best month for job creation since February 2022. 
  • Revenues per hotel room and average daily rates started strong in 2023, and the leisure and hospitality sector added 2,700 jobs year over year.
  • Baton Rouge’s 1.1% year-over-year job growth trailed several peer cities, including New Orleans (4%) and Lafayette (2%).
  • Job postings fell to their lowest level since April 2021, but there were still 2.2 job postings for each unemployed worker, which is above the national average of 1.8. 
  • In Louisiana, most new jobs came from preexisting businesses while most jobs lost came from businesses downsizing as opposed to closing outright.
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