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Traffic flows across the Mississippi River Bridge looking north towards downtown from atop the levee along River Road, Tuesday, September 21, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La.

The Baton Rouge metro area is forecasted to reach 415,300 jobs by the end of 2023, up from 393,400 jobs in 2021 as the region recovers from an economic downturn spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. 

By the end of the year, the Baton Rouge region is expected to recover 81% of the jobs lost during the economic downturn in 2020, according to the Louisiana Economic Outlook. 

The annual report is penned by long-time economist and LSU professor emeritus Loren Scott who presented the information at the Baton Rouge Business Report's Top 100 private companies luncheon Tuesday. The report relies on state and national data in combination with interviews of industry executives about their plans.


The Baton Rouge metro had lost 61,300 jobs by the end of April 2020, about one month after the March 2020 restrictions began. 

Across Louisiana, there were 286,800 jobs lost since April 2020, sinking statewide employment to 1.73 million jobs. 


By the end of this year, the region is projected to gain 9,700 jobs, which is a growth rate of 2.5%. 

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In 2022, the metro area is expected to add another 16,600 jobs, for a growth rate of 4.2%. 

Then in 2023, the region would add another 5,300 jobs or a growth rate of 1.3%. 

Statewide, there would be 1.99 million jobs by the end of 2023. 


The construction sector was hard hit during the coronavirus pandemic because many petrochemical companies decided to postpone development and maintenance projects. But this year some have loosened up the purse strings, such as work restarting at the third Methanex plant in Gonzales. 

In the coming years, Amazon is expected to add thousands of jobs in Baton Rouge from its fulfillment center and sorting warehouse. There's $6 billion of work underway and another $7.9 billion in potential industrial projects which have not yet reached a final investment decision which may happen in the coming years. For example, Shintech is working on a $1.5 billion plant in Plaquemine and expects to hire 30 more workers. ExxonMobil looks to spend about $410 million during a refinery modernization effort in Baton Rouge. 

Future projects may include a $1.2 billion expansion of Shell Chemical's plant in Ascension Parish. Mitsubishi looks to build a $1 billion methacrylate manufacturing complex in Geismar and Gron Fuels could spend up to $9.4 billion for a renewable fuels complex at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. 

Email Kristen Mosbrucker at or follow her on Twitter @k_mosbrucker