While many large cities are reporting small but steady comebacks, New Orleans suffered a job loss during the month of September. The city, suffering from a broader scope of economic hardship than others, lost a total of 1,100 jobs last month. Three other major metropolitan Louisiana areas, including Alexandria, Houma and Lafayette, also lost between 200 to 1,000 jobs each last month.
This brings Louisiana’s total job loss number to 19,500 people in non-farm careers since the economy started to fall. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the majority of these positions have been in the manufacturing business, where 10,200 people have lost their jobs within the last year. The petroleum industry has also taken a hit with a 3,400 job loss.
Unlike around the rest of the nation, the construction industry has had a bit of a boom in the area, with a gain of 2,900 jobs. This may be attributed to the continuing reconstruction following Hurricane Katrina. Gains have also been made in service jobs, such as professional services, the education field, leisure and hospitality jobs, and government positions.
Patty Lopez Granier, a research analyst for the Workforce Commission of Louisiana, says that the losses came to the area once the national effects of the recession started hitting the state. She also reports that New Orleans heavily depends on its tourism, and that the industry itself has brought another 1,100 jobs to the area.
However, even with all of these additional jobs, there remains the net losses of this past month; and even though the service sector may have brought in those 1,100 jobs, it has lost 8,800 jobs throughout the recession—including those in finances, transportation, and other services.
Still, the unemployment rate itself has fallen when seasonally adjusted. In August, the rate was at 7.8%; by September it had fallen to 7.4%, making the state have the 18th lowest unemployment rate in America right now.
For the city of New Orleans itself, the unemployment rate is even lower at 7.3%. This is a decrease from the previous month’s rate, which was 7.7%.
Some residents are hoping that President Obama will ensure a speedy recovery by creating more jobs and building better schools for the city. Now that he has appointed Cabinet members to streamline the city’s funding, hopes are high that the city’s recovery—both economic and otherwise—will be eminent. With the city facing a possible $68 million budget shortfall in the upcoming year, it can’t come soon enough.