The following comes from the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.
Life in New Orleans post-Katrina certainly can be rough. We still have years of rebuilding ahead of us, and now we're in the midst of an economic crisis. But looking at the numbers we see much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.
While the country is losing jobs by the hundreds of thousands, in New Orleans we've gained jobs - 8,000 in the last year to be specific. During that same time Milwaukee lost 10,000 jobs, and Tampa lost 23,000. Atlanta lost 34,000 jobs and in Los Angeles 53,000 disappeared.
This has kept the New Orleans unemployment rate low - only 5.3 percent compared with the national rate of 6 percent in September. Many cities have it much worse than we do. Atlanta's unemployment is 6.5 percent and Chicago's is 6.3. Los Angeles and Las Vegas have even higher unemployment rates - 7.3 and 7.4 percent. And Detroit's is a whopping 8.3 percent.
Did you realize that most of the funny mortgages behind the national foreclosure crisis were sold in 2005 and 2006? That's right. We can be thankful to Katrina for this one. Recently released data from HUD estimates the foreclosure rate in the New Orleans area is 3.3 percent compared to 4.8 nationwide. Atlanta has a 5.1 percent foreclosure rate and Cleveland's is 7.5. Miami is suffering from a 9 percent foreclosure rate and Las Vegas from 9.2.
In closing, we offer up our humble gratitude that things here in New Orleans aren't as bad as they could be, and that New Orleans may prove to be a pretty safe place to weather this economic storm.
The Data Center team
(Joy Bonaguro, Charlotte Cunliffe, Elaine Ortiz, Allison Plyer, Denice Ross, and Melissa Schigoda)