Economic and Workforce Development

Economic/Workforce Development Equity Overview

 

Unemployment, Job Growth & Wages

  • New Orleans’ unemployment rate is below the national average at 8.7%.

  • Only 48% of working age African American males are employed in New Orleans.

  • Manufacturing, oil and gas, government, and administrative and waste services have lost jobs. 

  • Consistent with the projections from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, jobs in health care and construction are growing in the New Orleans metro area.

  • Other burgeoning industries are the film industry, legal services and insurance agencies.

  • New Orleans has outperformed the national average in job growth and has exceeded its 2008 peak by 1%.

  • Between 2006 and 2011, the New Orleans metro average wage decreased by 1% and is 6% lower than the national average, impacting low wage earners’ quality of life.

 

Education and Poverty

  • New Orleans is above the national average with 38% of adults having bachelor’s degrees or higher.

  • Black men experienced no increase in the percentage of bachelor degree holders between 2000 and 2011.

  • Approximately 33% percent of Black families live below the poverty line, as compared to 11% of White families in New Orleans.

 

Entrepreneurship

  • New Orleans has been lauded as one of the best cities in the country for startups by Forbes Magazine, Fast Company Magazine and several other major publications.

  • The rate of entrepreneurship in New Orleans increased by 129% between 2004 and 2011.

  • Nearly nine out of 10 Black entrepreneurs found the city’s business climate to be unfriendly to Black entrepreneurs.

 

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

  • Minority-owned businesses represent 27% of businesses in the New Orleans metro area, yet they account for only 2% of receipts.

  • The New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance in June of 2013 to strengthen policies regarding the city’s DBE program. The ordinance requires 35% of city contracts be issued to DBEs and authorizes the city council to penalize contractors that do not meet DBE requirements.

  • In 2018, 44% of local businesses available for City work were minority or women-owned businesses.

 

Opportunity Youth

  • According to a report by The Cowen Institute (2016), in 2014, there were an estimated 6,820 opportunity youth in Orleans Parish. That is nearly three times as many young people who graduated from all New Orleans’ high schools in the same year.

  • Opportunity youth in New Orleans often live in unstable economic conditions. Opportunity youth received food stamps and were uninsured at high rates, and nearly a third lived below the poverty line. 

  • New Orleans’ opportunity youth more often were black, male, older, had children, and had a disability than all 16-24 year olds in Orleans Parish. 

  • Opportunity youth are more often face economic disconnection than educational. 

  • Nearly two-thirds of New Orleans’ opportunity youth had at least a high school degree or equivalency and nearly a quarter had at least some college experience. 

  • Disconnection occurs along a spectrum, and youth often had some work experience but had failed to maintain it. As a result, nearly 74% had earned no income in the past year.

  • Of those who did earn income, 98% of opportunity youth made less than $15,000 and nearly 51% made less than $2,500 total.

  • Failing to reconnect opportunity youth has long-term impacts on the economic landscape of New Orleans. Disconnection costs taxpayers an average of $13,900 annually per youth in increased spending on crime, health care, and welfare, for a total annual fiscal cost of $94.8 million to New Orleans

  • In 2014, there were an estimated 6,820 opportunity youth in Orleans Parish. That is nearly three times as many young people who graduated from all New Orleans’ high schools in the same year.

  • According to a report by The Cowen Institute (2016), opportunity youth in New Orleans often live in unstable economic conditions. Opportunity youth received food stamps and were uninsured at high rates, and nearly a third lived below the poverty line. 

  • New Orleans’ opportunity youth more often were black, male, older, had children, and had a disability than all 16-24 year olds in Orleans Parish. 

  • Opportunity youth are more often face economic disconnection than educational. 

  • Nearly two-thirds of New Orleans’ opportunity youth had at least a high school degree or equivalency and nearly a quarter had at least some college experience. 

  • Disconnection occurs along a spectrum, and youth often had some work experience but had failed to maintain it. As a result, nearly 74% had earned no income in the past year.

  • Of those who did earn income, 98% of opportunity youth made less than $15,000 and nearly 51% made less than $2,500 total.

  • Failing to reconnect opportunity youth has long-term impacts on the economic landscape of New Orleans. Disconnection costs taxpayers an average of $13,900 annually per youth in increased spending on crime, health care, and welfare, for a total annual fiscal cost of $94.8 million to New Orleans