The personal finance and advising website WalletHub recently conducted a study to measure multiple population and employment-related rates in American cities, and the rankings returned some fairly surprising results. Specifically, 17 metrics were applied to 515 cities in the United States, including Louisiana's own Metairie. Some of the metrics were population growth, how many residents are college-educated, and the shift in unemployment rates. Metairie ended up ranking on one of the lower extremities of these metrics—specifically, the area of population growth.
Coming in at a staggering ranking of 507th, Metairie has an incredibly low population growth. In fact, on a different metric, Metairie is in the top five slowest-growing cities out of the entire study. The impetus for the study was to find the highest centers of locally focused economic growth, so Metairie being so low is a bit disconcerting. While not the absolute lowest in any category, it is near that position in multiple. The quarantine has undoubtedly stalled as much of the economic flow there as anywhere, and this is one of the factors taken into account when measuring the varying economic situations of each city. Each city was given a score, in relation to their ranking on each of the 17 metrics, out of 100. Unfortunately, Metairie only scored a 24.45.
Many of WalletHub's recent economic studies like this have been produced and viewed through the prism of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses are completely out of balance, with some establishments receiving an overwhelming number of customers, like healthcare providers and suppliers, while food establishments are cripplingly barren. As New Orleans and the surrounding areas shift into more lax regulations, hopefully the ensuing studies can see a return to at least some semblance of balance.