The Truth Behind Unemployment

Russ responds to the CityBusiness article regarding local unemployment.

“In the middle of the highest unemployment rate in years, there are more than 5,000 jobs available within driving distance of LaPlace! There are more than 800 jobs available in healthcare alone. Some of these jobs require post-high school training but many require just a high school diploma, and a few don’t even require that. One of my long-term goals is to help our state better link jobs with job seekers!” ~ Russ Wise

New Orleans area has 25 percent of state’s job openings

The New Orleans region represented 25 percent of the 20,411 job vacancies statewide reported in the second quarter of 2011, according to the Louisiana Department of Labor’s Job Vacancy Survey released today.

The New Orleans region, which comprises Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John and St. Tammany parishes, reported 5,056 job vacancies in 23 sectors. That’s down 40.5 percent from 8,490 vacancies in the second quarter of 2010.

The survey identifies the number and types of jobs available in specific industries and regions of the state, providing a snapshot of the conditions in various regions and occupational labor markets.

The top three occupations with the largest number of vacancies were health care practitioners with 820 openings, sales with 738 openings and food prep with 435 openings. The farming industry posted the lowest number of vacancies at 10.

The top five job openings in the New Orleans region with the highest number of vacancies were:
– Retail sales, 470;
– Registered nurses, 388;
– Servers, 170;
– Licensed practical and vocational nurses, 110; and
– Painters and construction maintenance workers, 107.

Of the positions available, 34 percent paid more than $18 per hour, 24 percent paid between $13.01 and $18 per hour, and 11 percent paid between $10.56 and $13 per hour.

Most of the vacancies — 50 percent — required a high school diploma or less, while 22 percent required a bachelor’s degree and 12 percent required an advanced degree. The survey shows 28 percent required more than two years of experience in the same field, 25 percent required no experience or up to two years of experience in the same field and 22 percent required some experience in any field.

Statewide, the top five job openings were retail sales with 969 openings, registered nurses with 949 openings and nursing assistants with 634 openings.

About 24.2 percent of the employers surveyed in the New Orleans region reported that finding qualified applicants or applicants with experience was their greatest difficulty in filling vacancies, more than the 23.4 percent of employers statewide with the same problem. Statewide, 32.1 percent of employers surveyed said they had no problems filling vacancies, fewer than the 34.4 percent in the New Orleans area.

Job vacancies were open an average of one to three months.

To see the full report, click here.

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City Business News Editor Christian Moises can be reached at Christian Moises.

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