Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Orleans Employment

A post-hurricane Katrina New Orleans finally seems to be starting the long road to economic recovery. Although the city continues to experience many complications, such as an elevated crime rate, people are beginning to return to the city in hopes of resuming their lives. Over the last year, the state of Louisiana gained approximately 50,000 residents, according to new Census Bureau state population estimates released on December 27th.

The majority of this increase occurred in New Orleans. Despite the recent burst in the population, the state is still far from its pre-Katrina population level of 4.5 million. The Census Bureau estimated that the combination of Katrina and Rita caused the state to lose 250,000 residents. Nevertheless, an increase in the population of this size is a step in the right direction.

The return of life to the city, also marks the return of jobs in New Orleans. Overall, Louisiana added 5,600 nonagricultural jobs in the month of November. There largest portion of these new positions were jobs in New Orleans. The city had the biggest monthly gain, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, adding 1,600 jobs. During the course of the last year, there have been 6,700 new jobs created in Louisiana. There are now 1.9 million nonfarm jobs in the state.

The seasonal unemployment rate for November was higher than that of October, possibly due to seasonal layoffs. Currently 3.5 percent of the population is unable to find work, compared to 3.3 percent in October. The national average is over a percent higher at 4.7 percent. In 2006, the unemployment rate in the area was 4.3 percent, which shows some signs of improvement.

According to Patty Lopez, a labor market analyst for the Louisiana state Labor Department, the conditions for those searching for jobs in New Orleans is good, despite the fact that many areas are still trying to recover from hurricane damage. Lopez referred to the current employment situation as a "job-seeker's market," saying that "anyone who really wants to find a job, can."

She believes that the state is "starting 2008 strong," despite the fact that New Orleans is the only metro region tracked by the department that has not yet surpassed its August 2005 nonagricultural employment numbers. Overall, the current situation seems to be encouraging to the creation jobs in New Orleans.

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