New Orleans has a diverse economy and an abundance of job opportunities. As one of the largest states, it plays an important role in international trade and export, hosts several multinational companies.
Beyond trade and exports, New Orleans has a strong tourism sector, which generates a large part of the city’s annual income.
Job market in New Orleans
The job market in New Orleans is fairly robust and has shown impressive recovery since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. That said, unemployment remains higher than the national average, but prospective residents should not be put off, as there are plenty of opportunities for skilled newcomers.
Due to its size, New Orleans has historically been a major port of entry and is still a significant player in international trade. The state mainly imports coffee, sugar and bananas, while the export sector is dominated by rice, cotton, corn, oil and petrochemicals. Individuals with experience in import and export can find work in many of these areas.
The education and healthcare sectors also offer career opportunities in New Orleans, as these areas have shown a remarkable capacity for growth. With the recent upturn in the New Orleans property market, its construction industry is also flourishing.
More and more businesses are establishing operations in New Orleans because of the low costs, and incentives offered by the local government. Some employers operating in New Orleans include Ochsner Health Systems, Whitney Holding Corp, Boh Bros. Construction, Superior Energy Services and the Entergy Corporation. The city is also home to several prestigious universities, including Tulane University.
Tourism and related hospitality industries have played a notable role in the city’s economy in recent history. It is estimated that tourism contributes around USD 9 billion per year to the city’s economy.
Finding a job in New Orleans
Many employers in New Orleans advertise positions on online portals such as Indeed.com, and Glassdoor.com, but networking can be useful too. Some sites, like WorkNOLA.com and Monster.com are specifically designed to help its users find work in New Orleans, and these sites can be especially useful for expats who don’t have contacts or knowledge of the local area. The official New Orleans government website also offers a wide range of civil service positions.
Work culture in New Orleans
New Orleans offers an attractive lifestyle and a favourable cost of living, and most businesses generally try to ensure a good work-life balance for their employees.
Big corporations operating in New Orleans also offer employees great benefits packages, including transport allowances, health plans and opportunities for training and subsequent career progression.
The local government in Louisiana has also offered lots of support to small businesses looking to set themselves up in New Orleans. As such, the city has become a popular place for start-ups. Employees at these smaller enterprises benefit from greater flexibility in terms of working from home, Flexi-time and job sharing.
► For some help drawing up a budget, check out our Cost of Living in New Orleans page
Are you an expat living in New Orleans?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to New Orleans. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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