Traffic, not crime, worries businesses most in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE – The region could add as many as 6,000 new jobs next year, but new businesses are wary of traffic effecting bottom lines a report by the area chamber of commerce suggested.
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber, the region's business promotions and economic development organization, released its Economic Outlook Thursday.
“The overall theme from this year’s regional forecast is that the economy remains strong, but market data and the business survey show tempered optimism,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC.
The survey found traffic was the leading obstacle for businesses. Concerns over gridlock ranked above business' concerns about workforce and education – though still ranking much higher than a list of other possible issues facing the business industry here including crime, cost of lawsuits and even property. Even though half reported being impacted by the flood, businesses surveyed were less likely to be worried about residual issues from the August disaster than traffic, education and a qualified workforce.
> WBRZ's advanced traffic-tracking software can be found HERE; Users can monitor traffic flow in real-time. Watch for live traffic reports each weekday morning on 2une In starting at 5 a.m. and during ABC's Good Morning America.
For the last two years, businesses were concerned about workers' basic understanding of being employed. Candidates lacking “soft skills” was a top problem for hiring area workers along with unrealistic salary expectations. Concerns about qualified workers leaving the area for other jobs and educational background and experience of employees were marginal.
When looking elsewhere around the state, researchers said businesses were worried about highways and the state tax code.
The study surmises population will grow by 10,000 to 846,000 in the next two years. Pay for those people has continued to be competitive – median income in Baton Rouge could surpass that of the United States in 2019, the study projected.
The Baton Rouge Area’s real estate market showed growth in sales and home prices over the past year, too.
CLICK HERE to see the entire report.
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