New Orleans Metro Area Population Now at 87.5% of Pre-Katrina Level

The New Orleans metropolitan area added 8,000 new residents over the past year, and the total population stands at approximately 1.2 million residents, or 87.5% of the pre-Katrina population, according to the May 2012 edition of the University of New Orleans Metropolitan Report. The report, compiled by UNO’s Division of Business and Economic Research, is a quarterly publication containing analysis of recent trends and the short term outlook for the New Orleans metro area. 

Employment in the New Orleans metro area grew by 1.5% over the past year, bringing in more than 7,800 local jobs. The unemployment rate in the New Orleans metro area decreased slightly over the past year to 7.2% from 7.5%. 

Here are some other highlights of the May 2012 edition of Metropolitan Report:

  • Industries with the strongest employment gains in the New Orleans area over the past year include professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Employment increased by 6.3% (4,300 jobs) in the professional and business services sector and by 4.2% (3,000 jobs) in the leisure and hospitality sector.
  • The most substantial job losses in the New Orleans area occurred in construction (3,200 jobs), financial activities (1,400 jobs) and manufacturing of transportation equipment (1,300 jobs).
  • Tourism in the New Orleans area continues to improve each year. 8.75 million visitors came to the New Orleans area in 2011, marking a 5.5% increase over the 8.29 million visitors who came in 2010. Visitor spending also rose by 3.6%, increasing from $5.5 billion in 2010 to $5.7 billion in 2011.
  • Motor vehicle sales increased 2.1% over the last year in the New Orleans area. Sales in the local market for motor vehicles appear to be returning to pre-Katrina levels, with the latest figures reaching 94.2% of those observed immediately prior to the storm. 

The New Orleans metropolitan area includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes. 

To view the full report, visit: