This week, New Orleanians have cause to celebrate our collective resolve to build a stronger economy eight years after disaster, and we stand united to drive continued progress. Data released earlier this summer by the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells the story of our growth trajectory in a clear and tangible way: we are growing jobs and diversifying our industries at an amazing pace.
For the third consecutive year, New Orleans outperformed the region, state, and nation in private-sector job growth.
In 2012, New Orleans (Orleans Parish) employment grew by 3.1%, compared to a regional growth rate of 1.6%, 2% at the state level, and a national rate of 2.2%. In absolute terms, the city added 4,373 jobs, 60% of the region’s 7,300 net new jobs created over the same period. For every seven jobs created at the state level, one of those was located in Orleans Parish.
Further analysis into gains in specific sectors shows dynamic growth in the Creative Digital Media cluster—an indication that our economy is becoming more diverse and competitive with other high-tech cities like Austin and San Francisco. This cluster grew by 26% from 2011 to 2012 and now totals over 5,000 jobs. Jobs within this cluster also pay on average $57,800, over 20% more than the average salary of a private-sector worker in Orleans Parish.
Driving Future Progress
From January to June 30 of this year, the New Orleans Business Alliance assisted in projects that generated 200 new jobs and $36.7 million in capital investment in Orleans Parish, and we are working hard to continue to grow these numbers. While we remain encouraged by these results, there are critical issues that must be addressed to ensure our continued economic progress. Data released in the Index at Eight report by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center noted persistent challenges related to equity in the workforce and educational attainment. ProsperityNOLA, the City’s strategic plan to drive economic growth for the next five years, addresses these challenges and provides actionable recommendations for supporting Mayor Landrieu’s vision of a diverse, sustainable and prosperous economy for all New Orleanians.
We have come a long way since August 29, 2005. Collaboration and coordination are critical to keep our upward trajectory and ensure continued economic growth and accessibility of opportunity to all residents by our Tricentennial. The New Orleans Business Alliance will continue to work toward a sustainable economic future for the new New Orleans.
Onward and Upward
Rodrick T. Miller
President and CEO
New Orleans Business Alliance