NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A survey says the metropolitan New Orleans area's population has reached 87.5 percent of its pre-Hurricane Katrina tally after adding 8,000 new residents over the past year.

A report Friday by the University of New Orleans' Division of Business and Economic Research says the total population of New Orleans and several other parishes in the metro region is roughly 1.2 million.

The report also found the region's unemployment rate fell from 7.5 percent to 7.2 percent over the past year, while the area gained more than 7,800 local jobs.

The region's tourism trade had a strong year. The survey says New Orleans had 8.75 million visitors in 2011, up 5.5 percent over 2010. Visitor spending increased from $5.5 billion in 2010 to $5.7 billion last year, a 3.6 percent increase.