Unemployment in metro New Orleans dipped to 5.2 percent compared to 5.6 percent at the same time last year, according to the latest edition of the Metropolitan Report from the University of New Orleans. The metro area also added nearly 1,200 jobs since the second quarter of last year and nearly 720 jobs year to date, the report found.
The Metropolitan Report, compiled by the Division of Business and Economic Research, contains analysis of recent trends and the short term outlook for the eight-parish area of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes.
Here are some highlights from the August 2017 Metropolitan Report:
* During the second quarter of 2017, the New Orleans metro area had an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, a decrease from 5.6 percent reported in the same quarter last year.
* In terms of the number of jobs, the metro area added almost 1,200 jobs over the same quarter last year, and nearly 720 jobs year to date.
* After growing almost 2 percent in each 2014 and 2015, total employment in the New Orleans metro area decreased slightly during 2016 (0.1 percent). In the last two quarters of 2017, employment grew slowly, increasing 0.1 percent year to date.
* Between 2006 and 2011, the New Orleans metro area experienced a strong recovery in population. Since then, population has become stagnant, growing less than 1 percent annually. Recent estimates (second quarter of 2017) indicate that population was up 0.4 percent over the same period last year.
* Airport traffic and supply have maintained an upward trend over the last five years. Deplanements continued to grow during second quarter of 2017, increasing almost 7 percent over the same quarter last year, and 6 percent year to date (almost 83,000 deplanements). Similarly, airport capacity, measured by number of airplane seats available, increased 9.6 percent over the same quarter last year, and 6.9 percent year to date (about 1,300 seats).
* The number of passengers traveling through the Port of New Orleans by riverboats and oversea cruises has increased over the last five years. During the second quarter of 2017, the number of passengers increased 7.2 percent over the same quarter last year, and 10 percent year to date.
* In 2016, the New Orleans area welcomed 10.4 million visitors, an increase of 7 percent over the 9.8 million visitors in 2015. Visitor spending reached $7.4 billion, an increase of 5 percent from the previous year ($7.1 billion). Hotels in Orleans and Jefferson have benefited from this strong tourism industry, experiencing a solid growth in room sales over the last decade. During the most recent quarter in 2017, in terms of growth rate, hotel room sales were up 1.5 percent compared to the same quarter in 2016, and 2.2 percent year to date.
Read the entire August 2017 UNO Metropolitan Report.