The Data Center: Identifying Pathways To Good Jobs In Metro New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – In advance of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, The Data Center and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program are releasing a new analysis of the New Orleans regional economy today to help local leaders find ways to expand economic opportunity for all residents.

         Authored by Brookings scholars Richard Shearer, Amy Liu, Natalie Holmes and John Ng, the report, “Opportunity Clusters: Identifying Pathways To Good Jobs In Metro New Orleans,” focuses on local industry clusters that provide “good jobs” – jobs that have the potential to help workers without a four-year college degree earn enough to support themselves and their families and eventually move into the middle class. 

         Metro New Orleans’ growth in recent years has coincided with a sharp increase in the share of local workers who struggle to earn enough to support their families. This report finds that metro New Orleans offered 184,000 good jobs in 2014 that would put struggling workers on a path to stable jobs and higher wages.

         The report finds good jobs represented 33 percent of all the metro area’s jobs in 2014 in a range of occupational fields, including health care, production, maintenance and repair, and business operations. Notably, a large portion of the region’s good jobs belong to traded industry clusters rather than local-serving clusters.

         To build prosperity and expand opportunity to more New Orleans residents, the report suggests that local leaders should focus on growing more good jobs and connecting low and middle-skilled workers to them.

         The report’s authors say findings from this report can help the New Orleans community, as it moves on from post-disaster recovery, overcome the challenge that many metropolitan areas face today: the need to build an economy that works for people.

         Read the report here.




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