BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Experts say rising inflation rates and interest hikes are here to stay and that can impact employment.

“When interest rates have gone up, that’s what the Federal Reserve uses to try to tamp down inflation. A side effect of that often is that the unemployment rates go higher. But we haven’t seen that this time,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Fitzgerald says there haven’t been any major layoffs in Baton Rouge, but January is when businesses make changes.

“Companies tend to get rid of positions at the end of the year because they flip over and have a new budget on January 1st and it might have to be lower,” he said. “So that’s a good time for them to lower expenses, so really, it’s new budgeting and seasonal jobs ending.”

According to BRAC, there are 27,000 jobs open in the metro area. That’s about two and a half jobs for every person looking for work.

Owner of Pit N Peel, Elvondae Raybon is a one-man band, trying to make ends meet. Raybon is running his restaurant, an ice cream stand, and a catering company as a result of the high cost.

“Everything went up from poultry to pork to cooking oil,” he said. “I haven’t decreased the menu, I haven’t decreased the portion sizes, I have recently made price adjustments.”

Raybon is looking to hire a cook but cannot afford a full staff.

“You know, when it goes to, you know, making sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck, I’ve just kind of come to the conclusion that having as minimal people handling the product causes less waste,” said Raybon.

Fitzgerald expects the feds to spike interest rates as we start to see inflation come down. He says there are options for the worst-case scenario.

EmployBR is a local government-operated resource that will help you create a resume, they’ll help you train, they will provide funds for you to upskill and take classes at someplace like the BRCC,” said Fitzgerald.

While prices soar, Raybon wants to see more people support businesses in their community.

“Every business that operates doesn’t necessarily have the resources and capital that’s behind them, you know, motivating them to stay open,” he said.