Mark Waller of Nola.com (The Times-Picayune) is reporting on the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans eight years after the severe tropical storm devastated the gulf coast region. Waller writes:
“The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, which has been tracking recovery indicators since the early months after the storm, issued a snapshot of post-Katrina statistics. Earlier this month the center released its analysis of economic and demographic trends since Katrina, called the New Orleans Index at Eight.”
Please see some of the highlights of the report below:
The New Orleans metro has weathered the Great Recession impressively. As of 2012, it had recovered all its recession-era losses and reached 1 percent above its 2008 employment level while the nation remained 2 percent below its 2008 job level.
The New Orleans area has experienced notable growth in knowledge-based industries, including higher education and insurance services, while maintaining older industrial strengths. For example, heavy construction and engineering has expanded significantly and could supply the skilled workforce needed for new economic transformations in the region.
Entrepreneurship in the New Orleans metro continues to expand, reaching 501 business startups per 100,000 adults in the three-year period ending in 2012 – a rate that exceeds the nation by 56 percent.
During the 2012-13 school year, 63 percent of New Orleans’ public school students attended schools that pass state standards, up from about 30 percent pre-Katrina.
Adult educational attainment, a key factor influencing success in today’s economy, is not being advanced in the New Orleans metro at the same rate as in the nation, especially for black men, who have experienced no increase since 2000 in the percent obtaining bachelor’s degrees.
Post–Katrina housing is unaffordable with 54 percent of renters in the city paying more than 35 percent of their pre–tax income on rent and utilities in 2011, up from 43 percent of renters in 2004.
As of August 2013, FEMA has obligated $10.3 billion for debris removal and infrastructure repairs for the New Orleans metro, with $6.9 billion paid to localities and $3.4 billion still forthcoming.
As of July 2012, zero families in Louisiana are living in FEMA trailers, down from more than 70,000 in August of 2006.