Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- Even with the national unemployment rate at 8.6 percent, New Orleans seems to be weathering the economic storm and creating jobs.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office announced on Thursday that hundreds of new jobs were created just this week.
"We've had a lot of great success. We've been very, very lucky," said Jackson Brown, the General Manager of Uptown's "Dat Dog."
The neighborhood joint opened during Mardi Gras specializing in hot dogs. Since then, it has quickly outgrown its current location, which has become a popular stop for the hungry.
"We'll have our hot dog offerings in this area," said Brown while giving a tour of the building where "Dat Dog" is planning to move across the street. Brown said it will expand its operations sixfold and hire more help.
"Right now, we are heavy staffed for what we do. We have a staff of 11, we're anticipating 22 to 25 when we move over here," said Brown.
"Dat Dog" isn't the only business in town creating jobs. The city announced the creation of 684 new jobs this week, all part of a total of 9,000 added to the metro area in the last 12 months.
Major retailers are slated to arrive in 2012, which will mean more jobs.
"Walmart yesterday announced that they'll be returning to New Orleans East in addition to a store they already have planned in Gentilly," said Aimee Quirk, economic development advisor to Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
The city says the new 180,000 square foot facility in the East will be built near I-10 and Bullard. It will create 300 jobs for the community and replace the old store destroyed by Katrina.
Another national retailer also has its sites set on the Crescent City.
"Costco, a major national retailer that doesn't have any presence in the state, is planning a major retail store in Mid-City in New Orleans," added Quirk. "That project will create hundreds of jobs as well."
More jobs are also headed to the Port of New Orleans, where a $16 million federal grant is paving the way for a new rail yard. The city says the grant will mean 284 new construction jobs and 100 permanent marine and cargo handling jobs.
It is positive economic momentum that is trickling down to mom and pop businesses hoping to cash-in.
"We're predicating our move on the fact that our business is going to grow," added Brown.
The city says both the film and digital media industries are also helping to bring jobs to the local economy.
Tax incentives offered by the state have also helped recruit new businesses.