Hurricanes Leave Half Million Unemployed
Nearly half a million Americans have filed unemployment claims related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to Labor Department reports.
Another 40,000 Americans filed claims for unemployment benefits last week due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, pushing the total who have lost jobs because of the storms to 478,000.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that the 40,000 weekly increase in hurricane-related applications for benefits was down sharply from a rise of 75,000 such claims two weeks ago, evidence that the wave of joblessness caused by the Gulf Coast devastation might finally be cresting.
The hurricanes’ impact on the nation’s unemployment rate has been significant, however, as the total number of Americans receiving jobless assistance rose to 2.89 million, the highest level in more than a year.
A stunning figure. Sadly, while reconstruction will generate many jobs, a good number of the jobs lost to the hurricanes are unlikely to come back any time soon, if ever.