2023 GNO Jobs Report: Explore the top occupations in the region

2023 Jobs Report

Regional Labor Market Overview

Understanding regional labor market trends is crucial when it comes to interpreting the occupation-level trends and figures within the 2023 Greater New Orleans Jobs.  While the report offers valuable insights into our immediate job market, analyzing it alongside macro-level labor market data paints a richer and more meaningful picture.  The metrics included in the regional outlook such as industry growth, unemployment rate, and labor force participation rate are important indicators of the health of our region’s labor market.

Industry Outlook

Gone are the days of sole reliance on tourism and the energy sector. While these sectors remain pillars of the economy, new forces are shaping the local workforce. Healthcare and education, bolstered by the demands of a pandemic and an aging population, have emerged as power players, offering steady growth and competitive salaries. This trend reflects a national focus on service-oriented jobs, but with a distinctly New Orleans twist – healthcare here encompasses the bustling bioscience scene, while education boasts a thriving tourism-hospitality training sector.

Meanwhile, the energy sector undergoes its own transformation. The rise of renewables presents both challenges and opportunities, demanding new skillsets and potentially displacing traditional oil and gas jobs. Yet, Louisiana’s long legacy in this field positions it uniquely to capitalize on the shift. Adapting existing infrastructure and expertise to renewable energy could create thousands of high-paying jobs, solidifying the region’s energy leadership while ushering in a greener future. These dynamics paint a picture of a labor market in flux, but one brimming with potential. By embracing diversification, nurturing talent, and capitalizing on emerging trends, Greater New Orleans is poised to navigate the shifting sands and chart a course for economic prosperity in the years to come.

Labor Force Participation Rate

The region’s labor force participation rate indicates an opportunity to support the further development of accessible career pathways for residents

Our region’s labor force participation rate is a key indicator of the talent available for employers in the region, as well as how many of our working-aged residents are sitting on the sidelines. Our 59.2% rate indicates that a significant portion of the population is not engaged in the labor market, which could be due to factors like higher education attendance, retirement, or personal and family responsibilities. Such a participation rate could also suggest potential challenges in the regional economy, such as lack of job opportunities or barriers to employment for certain groups. Moreover, a lower labor force participation rate can impact the region’s economic growth potential, as a smaller proportion of the population is contributing to economic activities.

Unemployment Rate

An employed labor force is an indicator of success in matching workers with job opportunities

The unemployment rate across the Greater New Orleans region continues to hover around historic lows. Our current relatively low unemployment rate suggests that the regional economy is fairly healthy, with most individuals who are willing and able to work being employed. It also reflects a stable job market where opportunities for employment are relatively abundant, which can attract more talent and investment to the area. This low unemployment rate often correlates with a robust economy, where businesses are thriving and creating job opportunities.

Educational Attainment

Educational attainment metrics serves as a crucial barometer for its economic vibrancy, with higher levels demonstrably correlating with enhanced innovation, increased investment attraction, and the cultivation of a robust, future-proof workforce

Understanding data related to educational attainment in the New Orleans region is crucial for tracking progress and measuring the effectiveness of educational policies and initiatives. Monitoring trends in educational attainment over time allows us to assess the impact of specific programs, identify areas needing improvement, and adjust strategies accordingly. This data-driven approach can lead to more effective interventions and ultimately improve the overall quality of education in the region. Furthermore, understanding educational attainment data is essential for workforce development and economic prosperity. A well-educated population equipped with relevant skills is crucial for attracting and retaining businesses, fostering innovation, and boosting the local economy.

Wage Growth

Wage growth is an indicator of economic vibrance, and a catalyst for creating wealth throughout local communities

Tracking regional average weekly wages is crucial for understanding economic health and identifying trends in employment and income distribution, which can inform policy decisions and workforce development strategies. This data helps in assessing the affordability of living in a region and can guide businesses and investors in making informed decisions about where to allocate resources and opportunities. Average weekly wages across the region continue their steady growth over the past five years. While this is positive news, there is still work to be done to ensure weekly wages keep in line with inflation and the overall increase in cost of living.

Where are the Jobs?

A diverse economy helps Greater New Orleans lessen its reliance on just one sector

While healthcare continues to be the largest driver of jobs in our region, a significant number of jobs are spread across our other key industries. Opportunities for growth in jobs abound in the Advanced Manufacturing and IT & Digital Media sectors. Through investments by local aerospace, food and beverage, and technology companies, the region is poised for these sectors to grow. Additionally, the ongoing Energy transition and subsequent private and public investments will only grow the proportion of Energy jobs across the region. Economic diversification plays a crucial role in enhancing the resilience and stability of our region’s economy and labor market. A diversified economy can better adapt to global economic shifts, ensuring a more stable employment landscape.

Regional Population Demographics

Understanding macro-level regional data on factors is crucial for crafting equitable policies that reflect the diverse needs and opportunities across different communities

A nuanced understanding of a region’s gender distribution is crucial for crafting effective workforce development initiatives. By understanding the nuances of gender distribution, initiatives can ensure inclusivity, tap into untapped potential, and foster a more vibrant and diverse regional workforce. Our region’s distribution mirrors the national population (51.1% female / 48.9% male), meaning there is ample opportunity to ensure industries employ residents in a manner that reflects the region’s population, particularly within Top Jobs. Many Top Jobs are dominated by one gender and it is imperative to diversify those careers.

By recognizing the mosaic of racial and ethnic groups, initiatives can address specific needs, promote cultural and linguistic diversity in the workforce, and unlock the full potential of all residents. In essence, acknowledging and engaging with a region’s racial and ethnic tapestry builds a stronger, more inclusive, and thriving workforce for the future. Many industries and Top Jobs across our region are not fully reflective of the racial and ethnic makeup of our population, highlighting an economic mobility imperative for all workforce development stakeholders.

Analyzing the age distribution within the region’s working-age population is critical in forecasting future labor market trends. For example, a younger workforce might indicate a need for more entry-level positions and a focus on career development programs. In contrast, an older workforce might emphasize the need for continuous professional development and re-skilling programs. In the Greater New Orleans region, the largest segment is the 30 to 39 years age group, making up 21.7% of the working-age population. This suggests a substantial proportion of the workforce is in their prime working years, potentially offering a blend of experience and long-term employability. The second largest is the 40 to 49 years age group at 20.0%, followed closely by the 50 to 59 years bracket at 18.6%, indicating a significant representation of mature workers who likely possess valuable experience and skills. Overall, our region reflects a diverse age range within the workforce, which necessitates targeted strategies for engagement, training, and succession planning across all age segments.

Interactive Data

The 2023 Greater New Orleans Jobs Report has analyzed data on the overall regional economy, as well as key industries which drive it. Explore this data by industry below:


For the purpose of the 2023 Greater New Orleans Jobs Report, GNO, Inc. defines a Top Job as an occupation that:

  • Is comprised of at least 100 jobs across the region
  • Has a median hourly wage of at least $23.59 per hour (identified by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator for a 4-person household with two working adults)
  • Experienced growth from 2013 – 2023
  • Is related to one of GNO, Inc.’s focus industry sectors (Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Technology & Digital Media, and Trade & Logistics)

New to this year’s edition of the Greater New Orleans Jobs Report is the inclusion of On-ramp Jobs.  These occupations provide gateways to higher-wage, high demand careers and maintain positive future growth prospects based on business development projects and economic conditions.  Wages for On-ramp Jobs fall within 25% of the $23.59 per hour median wage threshold ($17.69 per hour) and occupations categorized as On-Ramp Jobs are denoted.

Note: This report focuses on immediate workforce development needs and pathways, so occupations that require a graduate degree or higher are not included.