BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The capital city area has been ranked first for job growth over the years among other metro areas, according to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

The data came from BRAC’s monthly economic indicator dashboard. The dashboard is used to analyze data from the region’s economy.

BRAC reports that Baton Rouge had a 2.7% increase in jobs since August 2022 and the unemployment rate remained under 5% for the last two years. As college students returned, government jobs increased by almost 6% between July and August.

“As summer turned to fall, Baton Rouge’s schools welcomed students returning from summer vacation while the college football season kicked off at Southern and Louisiana State Universities. Both bring positive economic impacts, state and local governments in the Capital Region added a combined 3,900 jobs in August as K-12 public schools and higher education institutions ramped up hiring prior to the start of the school year. And nearly three out of every four hotel rooms in Baton Rouge were occupied when LSU hosted Arkansas in mid-September,” said Jake Polansky, BRAC manager of economic and policy research.

Job postings in Baton Rouge had the largest one-month drop within five years and open jobs outnumbered unemployed citizens. Over 74% of job postings were located in East Baton Rouge Parish.

“Overall, August’s 4,300 net new jobs marked Baton Rouge’s best month for job growth since August 2022. However, Baton Rouge job postings saw their largest one-month drop in five years and the number of Louisiana workers voluntarily quitting their jobs declined for the second straight month. While these could be signs of a tightening labor market, there are still more than two job postings for each unemployed Capital Region worker,” said Polansky. 

According to the dashboard, housing affordability has been on a constant decrease. In August, the housing affordability index was at 97, which is the lowest it has been since 2003. The housing affordability index is the median household income which is what’s needed to qualify for a Baton Rouge median-priced home, which sits at around $255,000.