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August 2006

Hurricane Katrina’s effects on industry employment and wages

Molly Garber, Linda Unger, James White, Linda Wolford

Katrina posed an unprecedented challenge to accurately measuring employment and wages at a local level. Rapid development of alternative methods in two Bureau of Labor Statistics' programs resulted in a clearer view of the economic impact of this storm than would have been possible otherwise. This article describes the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) responses to the difficulties posed by the hurricane and its aftermath. It also presents some of the employment and wage trends measured by the programs both before and after the storm.

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