Baton Rouge, LA

The impact of COVID-19 on Baton Rouge economic development

Ashley Lideau

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BATON ROUGE, LA - According to the COVID-19 Economic Indicator Dashboard released by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, the data for July appeared to be stagnant but the private sector performance is improving. Although governmental jobs declined significantly due to the pandemic, private sector employment increased.

Job growth showed a slight decline in June due to the loss of over 4,000 governmental jobs, with the construction sector receiving the biggest impact as it lost about 6,700 jobs from its pre-pandemic level.

On the other hand, almost all private industries experienced gain over July, especially in the field of education, health care, and professional services. Restaurants and hotels have added 600 jobs in July, resulting in leisure and hospitality employment reaching only 3.1 percent lower than before the pandemic.

In the July report, it was found that consumer spendings remained larger than before the pandemic and high rate of hotel occupancy across the area. This might indicates travel and tourism fields are getting stronger regardless of surging COVID-19 cases.

While the momentum is pointing in a positive direction, job recovery in the Capital Region and throughout the state is still relatively low compared to other states. In addition to that, the rising cases of COVID-19 are now threatening sustained economic growth.

"The biggest threat to this comeback is another wave of COVID, and the Capital Region remains much less vaccinated than the country as a whole. Every jab a resident gets is a boon to our continuing economic recovery,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior vice president of business intelligence for BRAC.

To overcome the crisis, BRAC encourages businesses to host vaccination events for their employees. Vaccination will protect individuals from the worst outcomes and prevent community spread.

BRAC also helps job seekers, business owners, and organizations through its job opening compilation and regularly updated business resources and guidance.

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