East Baton Rouge Parish sees job gains, 2.5% wage growth 

From a cursory glance at the latest jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it might appear that East Baton Rouge Parish, while middle of the pack when it comes to employment gains across U.S. counties, is lagging in wage growth. 

Baton Rouge’s employment gain of 5.9% was average compared to cities across the country, but its wage growth, at 2.5%, was in the bottom half, lower than the national average of 4.5%. Within the state, local job growth ranked third among Louisiana parishes, behind Orleans, St. Tammany and Jefferson. Baton Rouge’s average weekly wage was second in the state, behind only Orleans, which saw wages retreat 2.5% during the second quarter.

But Andrew Fitzgerald, Baton Rouge Area Chamber senior vice president of  business intelligence, says the city’s wage gains only appear to be low. 

“There is not a huge gap between employment and wage growth, and to the extent any exists, it is likely due to the fact that BR was not hit as hard by inflation in Q2 based on cost of living data BRAC has compiled,” Fitzgerald says. “Because inflation didn’t hit as hard here, there wasn’t as much pressure for wages to go up, and residents maintained similar relative purchasing power.”