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August 2006, Vol. 129, No.8
Worker mobility before and after Hurricane Katrina
Richard L. Clayton and James R. Spletzer
Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23,
crossed southern Florida on August 25th as a moderate category 1 hurricane. During the next several days, Hurricane Katrina strengthened rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico, attaining the status of a category 5 storm. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina recorded its second landfall as a category 3 storm in southeast Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. The storm caused devastation along the Gulf coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, with catastrophic effects on the city of New Orleans. Levees separating Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans were breached by the storm surge, ultimately flooding roughly 80 percent of the city and many areas of neighboring parishes.1
The States and the Bureau of Labor Statistics have done much to measure the labor market effects resulting from Hurricane Katrina. Many of these efforts are described in the other articles in this issue of Monthly Labor Review. This article studies the labor market effects of Hurricane Katrina using wage records from Louisiana and Texas, enhanced with data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Wage records are administrative data collected as part of the Federal and State Unemployment Insurance programs (UI), and are increasingly used by economists for research purposes. The analysis presented in this article shows that QCEW-enhanced wage records are a useful tool for studying the employment and earnings impact from a large displacement event such as Hurricane Katrina.
This excerpt is from an article published in the August 2006 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Much of the text from this introductory paragraph has been taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, on the Internet at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_katrina (accessed June 2006).
Related BLS programs
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
The labor market impact of Hurricane Katrina: an overview—Aug.
Hurricane Katrina’s effects on industry employment and wages—Aug. 2006
The Current Population Survey response to Hurricane Katrina—Aug. 2006
The effect of Hurricane Katrina on employment and unemployment—Aug. 2006
Conducting the Mass Layoff Statistics program: response and findings—Aug. 2006
Hurricane damage to the ocean economy in the U.S. gulf region in 2005—Aug. 2006
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