Baton Rouge Outlook

Workers in the Metro area are in high demand as there remain about 1.5 job postings for each unemployed worker. About 16,000 jobs have been filled since July including the busy retail holiday season, now easing the demand and resulting in falling job postings. The Capital Region Economic Indicator Dashboard, published January 11 by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, indicates reasons to be hopeful in the year ahead.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • A 3.1% area unemployment rate indicates a tight labor market
  • Number of jobs in the Capital Region are at an all time high, at 433,400
  • Health services saw strong growth
  • BR Metro workers are earning more overall, but growth lags compared to similar regions
  • Demand for labor remains high

For jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree, managers, registered nurses, sales representatives, and accountants are most in-demand.

While jobs data remains positive, wage growth continues to lag growth seen in other areas. Over the last three years, Baton Rouge hourly rates in the private sector grew by 11% compared to Columbia/New Orleans (12%), Greenville, (16%), and Little Rock (18%). The November 2023 average hourly earnings rate was $30.87 compared to $27.88 in November 2020.

Despite this, private sector workers in the Baton Rouge area earn more on average than those in most peer metro areas including New Orleans. And, indicated by the unemployment rate, there are more individuals seeking work in the metro area compared to peer areas.