Jobs: What’s coming back, and what’s not

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A new report from Marketplace says the American job market added 2-and-a-half million positions in May. 

WWL wanted to know what the job market is like for the New Orleans region, so we spoke with Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Incorporated (GNO, Inc.). 

“There is a comeback now on Main Street, and restaurants and service jobs are beginning to come back, even with social distancing and the reduced occupancy,” Hecht says.  “And that’s providing both a financial and I think in some degree a psychological relief to some people.”

But while Main Street is coming back strong, hotels in town are still having a tough time.

Hecht points out, “Tourism is going to take longer, there are just so many restrictions that are still in place in areas like travel and there are fear and concerns that unfortunately are going to take longer to come back.”

But Hecht and GNO, Inc are not waiting for tourism to get back up to speed. 

“We’re seeing a lot of opportunities to potentially diversify the community.”

That means GNO, Inc is going after businesses to lure them to the region. 

“A lot of manufacturers are seeing that having their supply chain in China represents risk that they can no longer justify,” Hecht states.  “So they’re thinking about moving production back to the U.S.  And Louisiana is well positioned for that with our river, and our infrastructure and our workforce.”

One example he cites is:  “Tech companies bringing jobs back from places like Bangalore and putting them in lower cost technology markets like New Orleans.  So there’s a big opportunity for us.”

GNO, Inc is also looking at big companies that employ hundreds of workers. 

“You can say now that logistics is retail.  And whoever has the best logistics is going to win at retail,” Hecht declares.  “When it comes to logistics we’re very well positioned with our river, with our six class- one railroads, you’re going to see many more announcements as folks put logistical facilities in the region.”