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August 2006

Worker mobility before and after Hurricane Katrina

Richard L. Clayton, James R. Spletzer

A substantial number of workers were displaced from the New Orleans metropolitan statistical area after Hurricane Katrina. Those who quickly found jobs in Texas experienced a substantial decline in their short-term earnings. 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. It studies the normal level of worker mobility between the New Orleans area and Texas, and contrasts this with the level of worker location change in the months immediately following Hurricane Katrina.

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