Despite Changes, Baton Rouge Stands Firm: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

By Davidson, Charles | EconSouth, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

Despite Changes, Baton Rouge Stands Firm: Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Davidson, Charles, EconSouth


If much of the nation suffered economic body blows in 2008 and early 2009, it appears that Baton Rouge took only glancing shots. The recession came late and comparatively less severely to Louisiana's capital.

Baton Rouge is blessed with a sturdy foundation of state government jobs, two universities, and five dozen petrochemical plants that appear to be weathering the downturn reasonably well. Public sector workers, including more than 40,000 state employees, account for 20 percent of the Baton Rouge metro area's employment compared with 16 percent for the United States as a whole, according to Moody's Economy.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Thanks in part to that preponderance of public sector jobs, nonfarm employment in the Baton Rouge metro area grew in the fourth quarter of 2008--albeit only by an estimated 356 jobs--even as the national economy shrank 6.2 percent, its worst performance in 26 years, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. However, two important categories, business and professional services and information, shed jobs in the last few months of 2008 in Baton Rouge. That contraction, and the end of a post-Hurricane Katrina population surge,

led Moody's to conclude that the Baton Rouge metro area fell into recession during the fourth quarter of 2008. In fact, after rising during October, the city's employment decreased slightly in November and December, according to the BLS.

Still, Baton Rouge is better off than most of the rest of the nation, with an unemployment rate estimated at 5.3 percent in December 2008 compared with 7.2 percent for the nation at that time.

"If you were to look around the city, you would not see any of what you would anticipate to be signs of a serious economic downturn," said James Richardson, professor of economics and director of the Public Administration Institute at Louisiana State University's E.J. Ourso College of Business in Baton Rouge. "People are eating out, people are going to the movies, people are still shopping in the malls. And we don't have any major unemployment problems compared to Ohio or Detroit, places like that."

A threefold explanation for stability In addition to the relatively secure jobs in government and petrochemicals, three factors have helped insulate Baton Rouge from the worst of the downturn, Richardson said. For one, the area, like Louisiana generally, does not rely on durable goods manufacturing, which has been battered by the recession.

Second, the area was never overly dependent on growth in the housing sector and thus did not experience a bubble. In 2005, amid the nation's housing boom, housing and related industries accounted for only 9.4 percent of Louisiana's gross state product, the lowest percentage for any state, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). By comparison, the Southeastern states in which the housing sector makes up the largest portion of their economies are Florida (24.1 percent) and Georgia (15.3 percent), NAHB data show.

If anything, Baton Rouge went the other way. In contrast to overbuilt markets in south Florida and metro Atlanta, Baton Rouge had too few houses in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. "Overnight everything in Baton Rouge virtually sold out," said Wayne Pugh, owner of Wayne Pugh & Co., a real estate appraisal firm in Baton Rouge and immediate past president of the Appraisal Institute, a national trade association for real estate appraisers.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Third, Baton Rouge is not a financial center, so the banking crisis has not been as damaging there as in some other places, Richardson pointed out. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Despite Changes, Baton Rouge Stands Firm: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.