Aug 2013 27

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.

The Data

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