New Orleans, LA – This week, a Brookings Institution report ranked the New Orleans Metropolitan area number one in overall economic recovery for the second quarter of 2012. The metro area was also number one in the first quarter of the year, according to the Brookings MetroMonitor, which tracks recovery across four indicators: employment, unemployment, output (gross metropolitan product or GMP), and house prices.
The analysis tells a unique story of each region’s recovery, from the point of its greatest “economic shock,” according to Alec Friedhoff, a research analyst with the Metropolitan Policy Program and lead developer of MetroMonitor.
For much of the country, the baseline for economic recovery is the great recession that began in 2007. For the New Orleans Metropolitan area, the economic shock was delivered by Hurricane Katrina, Friedhoff said, and the city’s recovery is measured from Quarter 1 of 2004.
Since 2004, the New Orleans area has seen a 20.9% growth in employment and a 23.6% growth in output, according to the report, which largely accounts for its high ranking.
As part of its recovery from Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is experiencing an unprecedented rebuilding effort that has created new jobs and is spurring economic growth. Projects completed or currently underway include the $14.5 billion hurricane protection system, $2 billion biomedical corridor project that includes a new University Medical Center and Veterans Administration Hospital, a nearly $2 billion public school construction plan and $1.5 billion being spent on roads, parks, playgrounds and community centers.
New Orleans has placed high on numerous recent rankings, including:
Forbes: Number one city for information technology job growth and number two for overall job growth in 2011
Forbes: Biggest Brain Magnet
Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch: Most improved city for business
Inc.: Coolest Start-up City in America
View the full Brookings report: http://www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/metromonitor#M35380