Baton Rouge Economy quickly recovering from Pandemic low per report; thousands of jobs expected to be added in 2022

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge region is among the fastest recovering areas from the Covid-19 job losses over the last year.

According to the Louisiana Economic Forecast, the Baton Rouge region is coming back faster than the state as a whole and is expected to be back to pre-pandemic employment levels in 2022.

“By June we were 58% recovered, by the end of this year we think Baton Rouge will be 81% recovered, which means this year we will be up almost 10,000 jobs,” said Dr. Loren Scott, an economist who helped develop the economic forecast.

Scott said by the end of 2022 the region should see more jobs that it has ever seen, saying nearly 415,000 jobs should be open. That is up from a 2015 high of 400,000.

Leading the charge for the jobs are traditional giants in the petrochemical and oil and gas industry. It is estimated that $7 billion will be invested in the Captial Region. Companies like Mitsubishi and Gron Fuels are expected to build new plants, adding hundreds of jobs, jobs that include high paying wages of $80,000-$100,000 per year.

The single largest contributor to regions recovery is Amazon according to the report. The eCommerce giant is building a large regional distribution center. It’s estimated to create at least 1,400 jobs but could bring more. The center is on top of another fulfillment center in West Baton Rouge Parish that has created several hundred jobs.

“We’ve had the invasion of the Amazons,” Scott said. “This thing was huge for us.”

Road and flooding projects also play a large role in the outlook. More than a billion is currently being spent on flood mitigation projects such as the Comite River Diversion Canal and the clearing of canals and creeks across the region. Scott said on top of creating construction jobs and investing in the region, it should help lower insurance rates for thousands of businesses and homeowners.

Scott warns this progress could be stymied though, saying significant increases in taxes or regulation by the federal government could place constraints on businesses.

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