Economy grows, but prosperity is not shared

East Baton Rouge Parish has always been in an enviable place. Because the economy is more diverse, it doesn't get caught in economic turbulence. Generally, jobs grow annually. And that was the case again in 2015: the parish added 5,843 jobs and unemployment fell to 5.4% from a high of 7.6% during the recession, both 2010 and 2011.

Opportunities drew people to live in the parish. Net migration in 2014 - the number of people moving into the parish minus those moving out - was 4,328. Positive net migration boosts housing and retail sectors. 

But EBR's prosperity is not being shared. Median household income for Hispanics and African Americans is a fraction of the amount for white households. For every dollar earned by a white household in 2014, a Hispanic household earned 57 cents and an African American household earned 46 cents. The chart below shows median household income for 2014, the latest figures available when this was posted. 


Median Household Income (2014)


Mukul Verma

Mukul Verma is director of communications for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Previously, he was a writer and editor for Daily Report, Business Report and The Advocate.