Based on information collected from Current Population Survey-sampled households, there were about 800,000 persons age 16 and over who had evacuated from where they were living in August due to Hurricane Katrina. About 300,000 of these persons had returned to the home from which they had evacuated by the time of the October survey, while the remaining 500,000 had not returned to their August residence.
Of the 800,000 evacuees, 55.7 percent were in the labor force in October, and their unemployment rate was 24.5 percent. The jobless rate among those who have not been able to return home (33.4 percent) was substantially higher than the rate for those who had returned to their August place of residence (10.5 percent).
It is important to note that these estimates are not representative of all evacuees, but only those who were interviewed through normal household survey procedures. Some evacuees reside outside the scope of the survey, such as those currently living in hotels or shelters.
These data are from the Current Population Survey and are not seasonally adjusted. For more information, see the Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation, November 4, 2005 (PDF) (TXT) and the table in Effects of Hurricane Katrina on BLS Employment and Unemployment Data Collection and Estimation.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rates for Hurricane Katrina evacuees at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/nov/wk1/art02.htm (visited December 10, 2023).