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August 2006

The Current Population Survey response to Hurricane Katrina

Lawrence S. Cahoon, Diane Herz, Richard C. Ning, Anne E. Polivka, Maria E. Reed, Edwin L. Robison, Gregory D. Weyland

On average, 9 months after the hurricane, those in the affected areas whose residence differed from the one they occupied in August 2005 had a significantly higher unemployment rate than those whose address was the same. The labor force participation rates of the two groups were not very different. This article discusses the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Current Population Survey field staff, data collection operations, and estimation. Also described is a special set of questions added to the survey to measure the labor force status of Hurricane Katrina evacuees. The article concludes with lessons learned.

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