According to a Louisiana Economic Outlook report the New Orleans metropolitan area will add 6,500 jobs, or 1.1 percent, in 2019 and 9,100 jobs, or 1.6 percent, in 2020, ranking seventh out of Louisiana’s nine metro areas for percentage job growth.
Thanks to big gains in the technology and industrial construction sectors, growth is expected to double over the coming 2 years, giving many reasons to be positive out the immediate future of the area.
Across Louisiana, the outlook is positive, with the state having recovered from it’s 28 month recessions, and expecting to add 23,400 jobs in 2019, and 36,100 in 2020, increases of 1.2% and 1.8% respectively, placing the state firmly into growth mode.
However, those predictions also depend on oil prices, now above $70 per barrel for U.S. benchmark crude, rising to at least $80 a barrel and a national economic expansion continuing. Low natural gas prices that have fuelled industrial activity should continue to decline.
With around $42 billion of planned industrial projects in the region, megaprojects located around the ‘edges’ of the area in locations such as St. James, St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes, will help drive economic growth in the next two years.
Companies including South Louisiana Methanol, Formosa, Wanhua Chemicals and Syngas Energy Holdings are among the companies with plans for major industrial projects. Venture Global also has plans for an $8.5 billion liquefied natural gas terminal at the Port of Plaquemines.
An Expanding Tech Sector
One of the recent ‘big wins’ for the region was the agreement of one of the largest economic deals seen in the Southern U.S with DXC technology. The leading global IT Services and Solutions company is expected expand by 2000 employees in New Orleans across the next 5 years, bring a real boost to the economy. In addition tech firms such as Accruent and iMerit will add around 450 jobs, adding an needed injection of tech sector workers in the region.
Large commercial projects which include the $460 million renovation of the World Trade Center of New Orleans and the $106 million Odeon apartment tower project, are also expected to breathe new life into the construction sector.
Additionally, the $992 million North Terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will help to accommodate the city’s rising tourist rates.
A Positive Outlook
Across the state of Louisiana, the economic outlook appears to be positive. As of July 2018, Louisiana already was adding jobs at a rate of 26,000 a year, or 1.3 percent, which is about the national average. In 2020, several large industrial projects, including LNG export terminals, are expected to make final investment decisions. Rising oil prices, up to an expected $80 a barrel by 2020, should lift the state’s energy sector and the north shore area should see growth if Gulf of Mexico oil activity increases.
For those wishing to invest in a region which offers excellent opportunity for growth, New Orleans makes an excellent choice, thanks to previously softened prices, combined with an excellent economic outlook.