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Panelist Connie Fabre, President and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance, speaks at The Advocate's 2020 Economic Outlook Summit. 

Nearly one-third of industrial plant managers expect to increase contractor employment in the next six months, while 41% expect to hire company employees as well, as the global economy rebounds more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic began. 

The increasing optimism for the Baton Rouge industrial sector is reflected in the quarterly Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance survey, completed by managers of 23 sites across the region. 

The alliance has more than 60 industrial members, from petrochemical to paper, pharmaceutical and others. 

While roughly one-third of industrial plant managers expect an increase in production in the next six months, the vast majority, or 64% expect no change. Likewise, 36% of plant managers predicted the company would spend more money in the next six months on capital expense projects, while 55% would not be making investments at the site. 

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The index of responses collectively suggests whether the industry membership's experiences predict an economic expansion or contraction. An expansion is 50 or higher. 

Quarterly Economic Outlook Index

The index of responses collectively suggests whether the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance's membership's experiences predict an economic expansion or contraction. An expansion is 50 or higher. 

The second quarter index is 78, which suggests an expanding economy. During the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and its related shutdown the local index fell to 22 during second quarter 2020. 

At the time, many plants either stopped or slowed down production and put off maintenance work. Lack of demand for some products drove down production as did safety measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.


Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.