BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Workforce Commission reports a record low in the unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.

“It’s a great time to be job hunting right now, probably the best time in our lifetime,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior vice president of Business Intelligence at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

BRAC leaders say right now there are twice as many jobs as before the pandemic. Fitzgerald said a 4.1 percent unemployment rate is great news, but it also comes with challenges.

“The other side is that companies having to pay people more it’s harder to find talent, that there is sometimes a shortage for services,” he said.

The hospitality and leisure industry has gained over 2,400 additional jobs in the past months.

Some Baton Rouge restaurant owners say they have the jobs but can’t find the workers. They say the problem has been going on for almost a year. Fitzgerald says this is a trend he’s seen for months.

“Normally it’s an issue for demand for workers not having enough open jobs, we’re in the opposite boat now,” said Fitzgerald.

Louisiana has the jobs but not the people to fill available openings. So how did we get to this point?

“What happened is, you had some people who did retire and did not need to go back to the workforce. You had some people after spending time at home decided instead of having a part-time job with increased wages, they could just stay home and save on childcare costs by taking care of kids. And some people went back to school,” said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald says BRAC is implementing community strategies to get more people into the workforce in the capital area.

Open job listings can be viewed here.