Capital Region Ranked One of America’s Strongest Job Markets

Capital Region Ranked One of America’s Strongest Job Markets
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POSTED: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 10:01am

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 4:37am

Baton Rouge, La. (July 21, 2010) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) announced today that Bloomberg Businessweek identified the Baton Rouge area as one of the strongest job markets in the U.S. The Capital Region came in at the number eleven spot bolstered by its strength in nondurable goods manufacturing and the leisure and hospitality sector.

“Industry experts are sitting up and taking notice of the Baton Rouge area’s ability to outperform major and mid-market metros in job creation. Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking speaks further to our region’s competitiveness,” said Adam Knapp, BRAC’s president and CEO. “Third-party endorsements reinforce the economic development health of the nine-parish Capital Region and help to attract businesses in high-growth sectors and talent from around the country.”

The rankings, based on data from Manpower, a global workforce solutions firm, cited the region’s low unemployment rate and the percentage of companies anticipating third quarter hiring. At 7.1 percent, the Baton Rouge area boasts an unemployment rate that is 2.4 percentage points below the national average. Additionally, 19 percent of the businesses in the region have plans to augment staff in the third quarter. Economists from Louisiana State University predict the area will lead job creation in the state, adding 4,000 jobs in 2010 and 5,500 new openings in 2011.

Today’s announcement continues a string of positive recognition for the Baton Rouge area. For the third time in four years, the Capital Region has been named “mid-market of the year” by Southern Business & Development magazine. The same publication named the area second in its “mid-markets of the decade” ranking. While Forbes magazine said the area was #2 for jobs (mid-sized regions), and the Brookings Institution included the region in its top twenty-one strongest regional economies during the recession.

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber leads economic development in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area. Serving as the voice of the business community, BRAC’s membership includes more than 1,500 organizations whose employees represent over a third of the Capital Region workforce.

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One trend that stands out among the strongest job markets: Seven of the 10 are capital cities (six state capitals in addition to the nation's capital). During tough times, government work brings stability. A notable exception is California, where a drowning state budget has led to layoffs and furloughs of state workers. The state's capital, Sacramento, ranks fourth from the bottom among the nation's 50 largest metros, with 12.3% unemployment and more than 10 idle workers for every job posting, but still one important question exists, why cash advances are still so popular there. Another struggling capital: Providence, R.I., a traditionally industrial area that's been hit by the manufacturing downturn.

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